Statement of the Problem: Impairment in inhibitory control has been suggested to be associated with major such as overeating, substance use and gambling. Albeit response inhibition training (training to inhibit one’s responses) has been found to be effective for these disorders, not any previous research has attempted to explore the role of inhibitory control and apply such training for compulsive buying as compulsive buying has been also found to be underpinned by a deficit in inhibition.
Aim: This study aims to explore the effectiveness of response inhibition training on compulsive acquisition as a first attempt to support novel treatment approaches.
Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: Sixty-nine individuals with a relatively high compulsive acquisition were selected from a non-clinical student population and were allocated to a randomized, double blind design to receive four 10-min sessions of go/no-go training in either active or inactive condition. In training, participants were told to withhold their responses to either chosen items (active condition) or to faces and landscapes (inactive condition). Participants were told to complete the training pre- and post intervention and provided self-report measures of compulsive acquisition at pre, post and follow up.
Findings: Participants in the active condition showed a significant reduction in the likeability of both chosen and corresponding items compared to participants in the inactive condition in which a slight reduction was observed only at follow-up. Not any association between intervention and shopping tasks, three main self-report measures was found. There was also no observed effect of intervention on the number of bought items and total spending.
Conclusion & Significance: This is the first study to investigate the effectiveness of response inhibition training on compulsive acquisition. The results show that future studies are warranted to look at the role of inhibitory control and evaluate the training effect.
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