Stress and “Wanting” for Sweet Reward in Humans

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The aim of this essay

The aim of this essay is to investigate the article Stress Increases Cue-Triggered "Wanting" for Sweet Reward in Humans, which was published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition in 2015. Tobias Brosch, Eva Pool, David Sander, and Sylvain Delplanque of the University of Geneva wrote the post. This essay is important in my major, Psychology, because it attempts to explain human behaviors and how they are influenced by stress, and therefore it will assist me in carrying out a study of the different issues raised by the writers.

This essay discusses tension and reward need

This essay discusses tension and how it can raise the need for rewards. It is based on research carried out on rodents to determine the relationship between stress and the wanting pursuits. Public health problems have been caused by stress over the years and even though research has proven that the article reveals that less research has been conducted to determine the psychological mechanism behind the effects of stress on these problems (Tobias, Pool, Sander and Delplanque 128). The authors suggest that that rewards can be utilized to lower the adverse impacts of stress. This is compensated by the hedonic feelings caused by their consumption.

The incentive theory

According to Tobias, Pool, Sander and Delplanque (128), the incentive theory suggests a mechanism that does not involve the reliance of hedonic characteristics of the reward. They further state that the: “The pursuit of a reward is not always directly proportional to the pleasure experienced. This is because reward processing involves distinct components, including the motivation to obtain a reward (such as wanting) and the hedonic pleasure during the reward consumption (such as liking), which are usually correlated but can be dissociated under particular circumstances (Tobias, Pool, Sander and Delplanque 128).”

The research methodology

The research carried out in this article involved Forty-one participants. They all possessed a liking for chocolate and they were sampled from the University of Geneva. These people were requested not to consume any food or have any drink for four hours prior to experiment period. Moreover, they were asked not to participate in any sporting activity after which they were given 30 Swiss francs as a reward for taking part in the experiment. The experiment excluded Five participants since two of them had technical problems, and three among them were receiving psychotropic medication. The rest of the sample population lacked any olfactory problems and consisted of 19 males of 24.15 to 3.05 years old (Tobias, Pool, Sander and Delplanque 129)

The materials and procedure

The materials used in the study were classified as the stimuli and the instrumental apparatus. The procedure employed involved instrumental conditioning where participants were taught how to squeeze a handgrip with the aim of prompting the smell of chocolate. This session included 24 trials, and a thermometer was used to provide visible online responses on the efforts produced by each handgrip (Tobias, Pool, Sander and Delplanque 131). Another experiment was conducted by requesting the participants to squeeze the grip at will. The results involved the analysis of variance and presented in two graphs.

The objective and conclusion

The objective of the study was to determine whether the incentive salience theory that predicts that the wanting aspect of human beings is increased by the availability of stress (Tobias, Pool, Sander and Delplanque 134). The study revealed that the pursuit of rewards was increased by stress than in the normal condition of the mind and thus, according to Tobias, Pool, Sander and Delplanque (135), it can be concluded that stress influences the wanting tendencies of humans.

Work cited

Tobias, Pool, Sander & Delplanque. Stress Increases Cue-Triggered “Wanting” for Sweet Reward in Humans. Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition 2014 American Psychological Association. (2015) Vol. 41, No. 2, 128–136

November 03, 2022

Health Education

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