Testing the cognitive impulsivity and restraint of young healthy individuals by multisensory food cravings stimulation

Last registered on May 30, 2024


Trial Information

General Information

Testing the cognitive impulsivity and restraint of young healthy individuals by multisensory food cravings stimulation
Initial registration date
May 29, 2024

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
May 30, 2024, 5:44 AM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.



Primary Investigator


Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial is based on or builds upon one or more prior RCTs.
Our research aim is to explore the effect of different visual, gustatory and olfactory stimulations
on our desire for food cravings and how they differ between the people who are more impulsive
or resistant. Additionally, we are curious whether having an empty stomach or stomach impacts
food cravings on these individuals, and how much. We want to explore how different
stimulations will affect the sense of food cravings in these different individuals. We want to
observe the people who tend to act impulsively and crave food more or less when exposed to
sensory stimulation. Furthermore, we want to analyse the people with a full or empty stomach
condition will change their response towards stimulation when it comes to food craving.The term craving is used to describe the strong motivational condition in which an individual is
urged to seek and ingest a particular substance (Eva & Marika 2010). It usually refers to drugs,
alcohol, or tobacco, but has become increasingly applied to food. Thus food cravings refer to an
intense desire for a particular food. It is the specialty that distinguishes a craving from ordinary
food choices and hunger (Eva & Marika 2015). The International Society for Research on
Impulsivity (ISRI) defines impulsivity as the tendency to act with less forethought than do most
individuals of equal ability and knowledge. Cognitive restraint is defined as the control over the
food intake to influence body shape and body weight.
In recent studies, the effect of cognitive reappraisal was analysed on food cravings which
resulted in people with cognitive appraisal craving low-calorie foods because they seemed
healthier as compared to the people who just viewed the food without any thinking and preferred
high calories since it looked more appetising. Another research on the relationship between
social media exposure, food cravings, cognitive impulsivity, and cognitive restraint was
conducted which showed a clear cross-sectional relationship between media time exposure and
food cravings and an increase in cognitive impulsivity levels.
If we can learn about the influence of our senses on food cravings we can help people make
healthier choices for the food and control their cravings. This may include techniques such as
altering the presentation or portion size of your food or utilising the distraction technique to
redirect the attention away from craving induce stimuli
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

urooj, tayyaba. 2024. "Testing the cognitive impulsivity and restraint of young healthy individuals by multisensory food cravings stimulation ." AEA RCT Registry. May 30. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.13708-1.0
Experimental Details


Theoretical models, such as the elaborated-intrusion theory and
incentive-salience theory, propose that desire-related images generated during craving episodes
consume cognitive resources, consistent with findings from cognitive psychology.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
multisensory stimulators assess levels of food cravings in
young healthy adults who are either restrained or impulsive towards food cravings.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
In this research we will be using experimental research design. We will be targeting young
healthy adults using random sampling and our main focus will be on two aspects as we select our
participants using food craving questionnaire on food restraint and food impulsive individuals.
We aim to give them multi sensory stimulations focusing on the olfactory, taste and visual senses
towards food cravings. We will apply an experiment on two groups of participants. Group 1 will
be empty stomach and Group 2 will be full stomach and then when we will apply food
stimulations targeting their three senses. We will analyse which sense is the most reactive on
which type of individual whether food impulsive or restraint and whether they are empty or full
stomach. The experiment will be run through psycho py software.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomly picked students from university
Randomization Unit
Experimental session
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
30 students
Sample size: planned number of observations
30 university students
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
30 university students
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
center of cognitive and neuroscience
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials