Korean Clinical Psychology Association
[ Original Article ]
Korean Journal of Clinical Psychology - Vol. 39, No. 2, pp.124-133
ISSN: 1229-0335 (Print) 2733-4538 (Online)
Print publication date 30 May 2020
Received 06 Nov 2019 Revised 25 Mar 2020 Accepted 25 Mar 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.15842/kjcp.2020.39.2.004

The Effects of Cognitive Load on Craving Triggered by Food Cues in External Eaters

Song-Yi Baek ; Mi-Young Park ; Kiho Kim ; Jang-Han Lee
Department of Psychology, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Korea

Correspondence to: Jang-Han Lee, Department of Psychology, Chung-Ang University, 84 Heukseok-ro, Dongjak-gu, Seoul, Korea; E-mail: clipsy@cau.ac.kr

© 2020 Korean Clinical Psychology Association


This study examined the effects of cognitive load on attentional bias toward food cues in external eaters (EEs) through an eye-movement analysis. As EEs are easily driven to eat upon exposure to food cues, the present study examined the effects of cognitive load on the response toward food cues in EEs based on the elaborated intrusion theory. A total of 65 undergraduates who have high (n=33) or low (n=32) levels of external eating were assigned to either high or low cognitive load conditions and performed a cognitive load task. While they performed the load task, their implicit craving was measured with an eye-tracking device to examine the levels of attentional bias toward food cues during the task. After the task was completed, explicit craving was investigated through a questionnaire. The results showed that high EEs under a high cognitive load condition showed lower implicit craving than under a low load condition while their explicit craving did not differ. This study suggests that cognitive load that induces cognitive distraction may lower implicit craving in high EEs.


external eating, cognitive load, the elaborated intrusion theory, visuo-spatial working memory, eye-tracking device


This research was supported by the Chung-Ang University Graduate Research Scholarship in 2017.

This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea(NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (NRF-2015R1D1A1A09061029), and the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2017S1A5B4055761).


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