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Measuring wanting and liking from animals to humans: A systematic review

Pool, Eva and Sennwald, Vanessa and Delplanque, Sylvain and Brosch, Tobias and Sanders, David (2016) Measuring wanting and liking from animals to humans: A systematic review. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 63 . pp. 124-142. ISSN 0149-7634.

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Animal research has shown it is possible to want a reward that is not liked once obtained. Although these findings have elicited interest, human experiments have produced contradictory results, raising doubts about the existence of separate wanting and liking influences in human reward processing. This discrepancy could be due to inconsistences in the operationalization of these concepts. We systematically reviewed the methodologies used to assess human wanting and/or liking and found that most studies operationalized these concepts in congruency with the animal literature. Nonetheless, numerous studies operationalized wanting in similar ways to those that operationalized liking. These contradictions might be driven by a major source of confound: expected pleasantness. Expected pleasantness underlies cognitive desires and does not correspond to animal liking, a hedonic experience, or to animal wanting, which relies on affective relevance, consisting of the perception of a cue associated with a relevant reward for the organism’s current physiological state. Extending the concept of affective relevance and differentiating it from expected pleasantness might improve measures of human wanting and liking.

Item Type:Article
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Sanders, David0000-0002-1233-9998
Additional Information:© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. Received 2 October 2015; Received in revised form 5 January 2016; Accepted 21 January 2016; Available online 3 February 2016. This research was supported by the National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) for the Affective Sciences, financed by a grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation (51NF40-104897), hosted by the University of Geneva and by an Early Postdoctoral Mobility fellowship from the Swiss National Science Foundation (P2GEP1 162079) to Eva Pool.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR)UNSPECIFIED
Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)51NF40-104897
Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)P2GEP1_162079
Subject Keywords:Incentive salience; Wanting; Liking; Affective relevance; Pleasure; Expected pleasantness
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160216-111654931
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Official Citation:Eva Pool, Vanessa Sennwald, Sylvain Delplanque, Tobias Brosch, David Sander, Measuring wanting and liking from animals to humans: A systematic review, Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, Volume 63, April 2016, Pages 124-142, ISSN 0149-7634, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:64503
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:17 Feb 2016 22:33
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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