Make the manikin move: Symbolic approach-avoidance responses affect implicit and explicit face evaluations

Marcella L. Woud*, Joyce Maas, Eni S. Becker, Mike Rinck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


The present research aimed to replicate and extend findings of Huijding, Muris, Lester, Field, and Joosse (2011), investigating whether symbolic approach-avoidance responses can induce implicit and explicit evaluation biases. Faces with a neutral expression were shown on a computer screen, and participants were instructed to repeatedly move a manikin towards some faces (approach) and away from other faces (avoidance). An affective priming task and a face rating task were used to assess training-compatible differences in implicit and explicit face evaluations, respectively. Results showed that the manikin training was successful: The priming task revealed more positive implicit evaluations of approached than avoided faces, and approached faces were rated more positively than avoided ones in the face rating task. These findings replicate those of Huijding and colleagues by demonstrating training effects on explicit evaluations, and they extend them by demonstrating effects on implicit evaluations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)738-744
JournalJournal of Cognitive Psychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Approach-avoidance training
  • Implicit and explicit face evaluations
  • Manikin task
  • FEAR

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