Measuring preference for supernormal over natural rewards: a two-dimensional anticipatory pleasure scale

Article


Goodwin, B. C., Browne, M. and Rockloff, M.. 2015. "Measuring preference for supernormal over natural rewards: a two-dimensional anticipatory pleasure scale." Evolutionary Psychology. 13 (4). https://doi.org/10.1177/1474704915613914
Article Title

Measuring preference for supernormal over natural rewards: a two-dimensional anticipatory pleasure scale

ERA Journal ID122859
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsGoodwin, B. C. (Author), Browne, M. (Author) and Rockloff, M. (Author)
Journal TitleEvolutionary Psychology
Journal Citation13 (4)
Number of Pages11
Year2015
Place of PublicationUnited States
ISSN1474-7049
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/1474704915613914
Web Address (URL)http://evp.sagepub.com/search/results?fulltext=Measuring+preference+for+supernormal+over+natural+rewards%3A+a+two-dimensional+anticipatory+pleasure+scale&submit=yes&journal_set=spevp&src=selected&andorexactfulltext=and&x=11&y=9
Abstract

Supernormal stimuli are artificial products that activate reward pathways and approach behavior more so than naturally occurring stimuli for which these systems were intended. Many modern consumer products (e.g., snack foods, alcohol, pornography) appear to incorporate supernormal features, leading to excessive consumption, in preference to naturally-occurring alternatives. No measure currently exists for the self-report assessment of individual differences or changes in susceptibility to such stimuli. Therefore, an anticipatory pleasure scale was modified to include items that represented both supernormal and natural classes of rewarding stimuli. Exploratory factor analysis yielded a two-factor solution, and as predicted, natural (N) and supernormal (SN) items reliably loaded on separate dimensions. Internal reliability for the two scales was high, ρ =.93, ρ =.90, respectively. The two-dimensional measure was evaluated via regression using the N and SN scale means as predictors and self-reports of daily consumption of 21 products with supernormal features as outcomes. As expected, supernormal pleasure ratings were related to higher supernormal product consumption; whilst natural pleasure ratings had either negative or neutral associations to consumption of these products. We conclude that the resulting two-dimensional measure is a potentially reliable and valid self-report measure of differential preference for supernormal stimuli. Whilst further evaluation is needed (e.g. using experimental measures), the proposed scale may play a useful role in the study of both trait- and state-based variation in human susceptibility to supernormal stimuli.

Keywordsanticipatory pleasure scale, supernormal stimuli, natural stimuli, reward
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020529999. Other psychology not elsewhere classified
520299. Biological psychology not elsewhere classified
520399. Clinical and health psychology not elsewhere classified
Byline AffiliationsCentral Queensland University
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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