The Role of Outcome and Experience in Hypothesis Testing about Food Allergy


It is important to understand the reasoning strategies that health behaviours are based on. Croker and Buchanan (2011b) found that the strategies people use when choosing how to test a hypothesis about oral health are affected by whether the participant is seeking to reproduce a positive outcome (i.e., good health) or eliminate an unwanted outcome (i.e., bad health). The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of outcome on reasoning strategies in a food allergy context. Participants with and without food allergy were given hypothesistesting tasks and asked to choose which of three alternative patterns of food consumption could be used to test a hypothesis that a person is allergic to a particular food. Participants were more likely to select a controlled test of the hypothesis that a specific food causes an allergic reaction when a reaction to a food had been observed after eating, than when a reaction had not been observed due to food avoidance. Although the potential severity of making an incorrect choice in a food allergy context is both greater and more proximal than in an oral health context, the same bias in reasoning strategy was found. Logically appropriate hypothesis-testing behaviour may not, therefore, underpin real-world decision making.

Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Psychology
Additional Information: The role of outcome and experience in hypothesis testing about food allergy. Steve Croker & Rebecca C. Knibb. Health Psychology Update. VOl 25 Iss 1. Spring 2016.
Last Modified: 26 Dec 2023 08:55
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2019 12:53
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Related URLs: https://shop.bp ... pring-2016.html (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2016-03-01
Accepted Date: 2016-01-01
Authors: Croker, Steve
Knibb, Rebecca C (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-5561-0904)



Version: Accepted Version

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