Behaviour Research and Therapy vol:46 issue:3 pages:375-391
Unlike in fear conditioning, little attention has been devoted to extinction and renewal in appetitive conditioning, despite its relevance for extinction-based addiction treatments. We developed a paradigm, using a specific tray as a conditioned stimulus (CS) for eating chocolate (unconditioned stimulus, US), to investigate the effects of context change on acquisition and extinction of conditioned chocolate craving using an ABA renewal design. In Study 1 (n=32), participants successfully acquired chocolate craving, but unlike what is commonly observed in fear conditioning, craving did not extinguish. In Study 2, we separately assessed craving and US expectancy in a between-subjects design (n=64). US-expectancy data showed acquisition, extinction and renewal in the ABA group. The craving data did not follow this pattern, suggesting different mechanisms for craving and US expectancy. Similarities and differences between craving and US expectancy, as well as practical implications, are discussed.