A recent debate regarding the theoretical distinction between explicit and implicit cognitive processes relevant to alcohol-related behaviors was strongly shaped by empirical findings from dual-process models (Moss & Albery, 2009; Wiers & Stacy, 2010; Moss & Albery, 2010). Specifically, as part of a broader discussion, Wiers & Stacy (2010) contended that alcohol-related behaviors are better predicted by self-reported alcohol expectancies for individuals with good executive control and with good verbal abilities relative to those without such abilities. The purpose of the current paper is to further test whether self-reported alcohol outcome expectancies are moderated by measures of cognitive functioning. Using multiple indices of alcohol use, alcohol-related consequences, self-reported alcohol outcome expectancies, and cognitive functioning, both cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses were conducted in a prospective sample of 489 individuals at varying risk for alcohol use disorders. Results from a series of regression analyses testing interactions between self-reported alcohol expectancies and cognitive functioning showed minimal support for the hypothesized pattern discussed by Wiers et al. (2010) regarding self-reported alcohol outcome expectancies. The overall rates of significance were consistent with Type I error rates and a substantial proportion of the significant interactions were inconsistent with previous findings. Thus, the conclusion that cognitive measures consistently moderate the relation between self-reported alcohol expectancies and alcohol use and outcomes should be tempered.
alcohol outcome expectancies; dual-process models; cognitive functioning; alcohol use
Alcohol dependence is characterised by motivational conflict (or ambivalence) in controlled cognitive processes, but it is unclear if ambivalence also exists within automatic cognitive processes, and if ambivalence operates between controlled and automatic processes.
To investigate ambivalence operating within and between controlled and automatic processes in alcohol dependence.
Alcohol-dependent patients who had recently completed inpatient alcohol detoxification (N = 47) and social drinking controls (N = 40) completed unipolar implicit association tests and self-report measures of alcohol approach and avoidance motivation and alcohol outcome expectancies.
As predicted, both positive and negative alcohol outcome expectancies were stronger in alcohol-dependent patients compared to controls, indicative of ambivalence. Groups did not differ on implicit alcohol-positive associations, but alcohol-dependent participants had significantly weaker alcohol-negative associations than controls. Regression analyses revealed that implicit negative associations accounted for unique variance in group membership after controlling for alcohol outcome expectancies.
Our findings demonstrate that alcohol dependent patients possess weak automatic alcohol-negative associations but not strong automatic alcohol-positive associations, and they suggest the presence of conflict between controlled and automatic processes with regard to negative alcohol cognitions.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00213-013-3066-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Alcohol dependence; Outcome expectancies; Implicit associations; Unipolar implicit association test
Alcohol impairs inhibitory control, and it alters implicit alcohol cognitions including attentional bias and implicit associations. These effects are seen after doses of alcohol which do not lead to global impairments in cognitive performance. We review studies which demonstrate that the effects of alcohol on inhibitory control are associated with the ability of alcohol to prime alcohol-seeking behavior. We also hypothesize that alcohol-induced changes in implicit alcohol cognitions may partially mediate alcohol-induced priming of the motivation to drink. Based on contemporary theoretical models and conceptualizations of executive function, impulsivity, and the motivational salience of alcohol-related cues, we speculate on other aspects of cognition that may underlie alcohol’s effects on alcohol seeking. Inconsistencies in existing research and priorities for future research are highlighted, including dose effects and the potential interactions between chronic heavy drinking and the acute effects of alcohol on these cognitive processes.
Inhibitory Control; Attentional Bias; Automatic Alcohol Associations; Priming
Language-based measures indicate that alcohol expectancies influence alcohol consumption. To relate these measures to brain actions that precede verbal output, the P300 component of the Event-related potentials (ERPs) was used to detect violations of individually held alcohol expectancies. As predicted, P300 amplitude elicited by negative alcohol expectancy stimuli was positively correlated with endorsement of positive/arousing alcohol expectancies on the language-based measure, such that the higher an individual's positive/arousing expectancies, the larger was the P300 elicited by negative alcohol expectancy stimuli. These results demonstrated concordance between language-based measures of alcohol expectancies and electrophysiological probes of expectancy. Although whether these expectancy processes are integral to decision pathways that influence consumption is unknown, these findings suggest that such processing can occur very quickly outside of conscious deliberation.
alcohol expectancies and event-related potentials; P300 and alcohol cognitions; electrophysiological index of alcohol expectancies
Gray’s (1975, 1987) behavioral activation (BAS) and behavioral inhibition systems (BIS) are thought to underlie sensitivity to reinforcement and punishment, respectively. Consistent with Gray’s theory and the Acquired Preparedness model, BAS may facilitate the learning of positive alcohol expectancies (PAEs) over time, leading to increases in drinking. Yet, no prospective tests of this pathway have been reported. The present study investigated whether BAS prospectively predicted PAEs and whether PAEs mediated the association between BAS and subsequent alcohol use. We hypothesized that BAS would influence drinking specifically via enhancement-related PAEs. We also explored the role of BIS in PAEs and drinking. College students (N=557) completed online BAS, PAE, and alcohol use measures in September of their first (T1), second (T2), and third (T3) years of college. We conducted autoregressive path analyses with three BAS subscales and BIS (T1) as predictors, four PAE types (T2) as mediators, and quantity and frequency of drinking (T3) as outcomes. The BAS Fun-Seeking scale was prospectively associated with PAEs, and there was a significant indirect path from Fun-Seeking to alcohol use mediated specifically through activity enhancement PAEs. BIS was positively associated with some PAE types, but did not have indirect effects on drinking. Findings are consistent with both the theory of the BAS and the Acquired Preparedness model, as individuals high on BAS Fun-Seeking may find the rewarding properties of alcohol more reinforcing, leading to stronger enhancement PAEs and increased drinking over time. The prospective design helps establish the temporal association between BAS and alcohol-related learning, and points to the need for prevention efforts that target these at-risk students.
behavioral activation system; behavioral inhibition system; alcohol expectancies; alcohol use; longitudinal data
Research suggests that alcohol intoxication may increase a young man’s likelihood of sexual aggression. This laboratory analogue experiment tested a disinhibition versus alcohol myopia explanation of alcohol’s role by investigating effects of acute alcohol administration, expectations and individual differences drawn from Malamuth’s Confluence Model of Sexual Aggression (i.e., Acceptance of Interpersonal Violence: AIV, Need for Sexual Dominance: NSD) on young men’s acceptance of sexual aggression. Young adult heterosexual men (n=334) attended two laboratory sessions each. In the first, they completed screening and individual differences measures. In the second, they were assigned randomly to consume one of four beverages: Control, Placebo, Low Dose Alcohol (0.33 ml alcohol/kg body weight) or Moderate Dose Alcohol (0.75 ml/kg) and view one of two video-delivered scenario conditions: “Anti-Force Cues” (scenario of a couple on a date with embedded explicit cues mitigating against forced sex) or “No Cues” (Identical scenario with no Anti-Force cues). Participants then judged 1) should the man continue to force the woman to have sex? 2) would they force the woman? and 3) who was responsible for the outcome? Results supported a disinhibition versus alcohol myopia model. Consuming alcohol increased acceptance of sexual aggression. Further, higher NSD and AIV scores were associated with acceptance of forced sex, but only after alcohol consumption. Overall, findings showed that key individual difference factors from Malamuth’s Confluence Model enhance precision of predicting sexual aggression risk by young men under the influence of alcohol.
Sexual aggression; Alcohol administration; Need for Sexual Dominance; Acceptance of Interpersonal Violence; Heterosexual males
Initiation and maintenance of compulsive alcohol drinking involves a sequence of behaviors which occur in the presence of environmental cues. Animal models using chained schedules of alcohol reinforcement may be useful for examining the complex interactions between cues and alcohol seeking and consumption.
Four baboons self-administered alcohol under a 3-component chained schedule of reinforcement; distinct cues were presented in the context of different behavioral contingencies associated with gaining access to 4% w/v alcohol (alcohol seeking) and concluding with alcohol self-administration. First, the response strength of alcohol-related seeking responses was evaluated using a between-sessions progressive ratio (PR) procedure in which the response requirement to initiate the final contingency and gain access to the daily supply of alcohol was increased each session. The highest response requirement completed that resulted in alcohol access was defined as the breaking point (BP). Second, water was substituted for alcohol and PR procedures were repeated. The effects of increasing the “seeking” response requirement on subsequent alcohol or water consumption were also determined.
When alcohol was available, operant responses to gain access to and self-administer alcohol were maintained. When water was substituted for alcohol, alcohol-related cues continued to maintain alcohol-seeking responses. However, higher BPs, higher rates of self-administration and higher volumes of intake occurred when alcohol was available compared to water. Increasing the response requirement to gain access to alcohol did not reduce alcohol consumption (total alcohol intake).
These results show that alcohol-related cues maintained alcohol seeking even after a prolonged period of water only availability. Cue-maintained alcohol seeking behavior can be dissociated from subsequent alcohol consumption.
Cue reactivity; craving; self-administration; alcohol; progressive ratio
Implicit positive alcohol expectancy (PAEs) processes are thought to respond phasically to external and internal stimuli – including mood states – and so they may exert powerful proximal influences over drinking behavior. Although social learning theory contends that mood states activate mood-congruent implicit PAEs, which in turn lead to alcohol use, there is a dearth of experimental research examining this mediation model relative to observable drinking. Moreover, an expectancy theory perspective might suggest that, rather than influencing PAEs directly, mood may moderate the association between PAEs and drinking. To test these models, the present study examined the role of mood in the association between implicitly measured PAE processes (i.e., latency to endorse PAEs) and immediate alcohol consumption in the laboratory. Gender differences in these processes also were examined.
College students (N=146) were exposed to either a positive, negative, or neutral mood induction procedure, completed a computerized PAE reaction time (RT) task, and subsequently consumed alcohol ad libitum.
The mood manipulation had no direct effects on drinking in the lab, making the mediation hypothesis irrelevant. Instead, gender and mood condition moderated the association between RT to endorse PAEs and drinking in the lab. For males, RT to tension reduction PAEs was a stronger predictor of volume of beer consumed and peak BAC in the context of general arousal (i.e., positive and negative mood) relative to neutral mood. RT to PAEs did not predict drinking in the lab for females.
The results show that PAE processes are important determinants of immediate drinking behavior in men, suggesting that biased attention to mood-relevant PAEs – as indicated by longer RTs – predicts greater alcohol consumption in the appropriate mood context. The findings also highlight the need to consider gender differences in PAE processes. This study underscores the need for interventions that target automatic cognitive processes related to alcohol use.
alcohol expectancies; implicit cognition; mood; gender
This paper proposes a novel hypothetical model integrating formerly discrete theories of stress appraisal, neurobiological allostasis, automatic cognitive processing, and addictive behavior to elucidate how alcohol misuse and dependence are maintained and re-activated by stress. We outline a risk chain in which psychosocial stress initiates physiological arousal, perseverative cognition, and negative affect that, in turn, triggers automatized schema to compel alcohol consumption. This implicit cognitive process then leads to attentional biases toward alcohol, subjective experiences of craving, paradoxical increases in arousal and alcohol-related cognitions due to urge suppression, and palliative coping through drinking. When palliative coping relieves distress, it results in negative reinforcement conditioning that perpetuates the cycle by further sensitizing the system to future stressful encounters. This model has implications for development and implementation of innovative behavioral interventions (such as mindfulness training) that disrupt cognitive-affective mechanisms underpinning stress-precipitated dependence on alcohol.
stress; alcohol dependence; implicit cognition; allostasis; mindfulness
This study was undertaken to test the hypotheses that acute alcohol intoxication and alcohol-rated sex expectancies are negatively related both to risk perception (a motivational factor) and ability to negotiate safer sex (a behavioral skills factor) with a partner. Motivation and behavioral skills are determinants of safer sex according to the Information-Motivation-Behavioral Skills (IMB) model.
A total of 102 heterosexual females aged 21–30 years participated in two sessions. The first session involved the administration of various measures to confirm eligibility status, and random assignment to one of three beverage conditions: water control, alcohol (.65gm alcohol/kg. body weight), or placebo. The second session involved administration of the beverage and then completion of a risk perception measure and an audio-visual role-play measure of behavioral skills.
Regression analyses showed that alcohol expectancies and the perception of intoxication contributed independent variance to both risk perception and behavioral skills. Actual alcohol intoxication had little influence on these dependent variables.
Alcohol expectancies and related factors can be related to variables that theoretically precede the occurrence of risky sex. Research is needed on the processes through which expectancies might be related to the occurrence of safer sex, as well as on person and situation variables that moderate the effects of alcohol and alcohol expectancies on safer sex.
Psychologists have long been interested in the integrated specificity hypothesis, which maintains that stressors elicit fairly distinct behavioral, emotional, and biological responses, molded by selective pressures to meet specific demands from the environment. This issue of Psychological Bulletin features a meta-analytic review of the evidence for this proposition by Denson, Spanovic, and Miller (2009). It concludes that the meta-analytic findings support the “core concept behind the integrated specificity model (p. XX)” and reveal that “within the context of a stressful event, organisms produce an integrated and coordinated response at multiple levels (i.e., cognitive, emotional, physiological; p. XX).” In this commentary I argue that conclusions like this are unwarranted given the data. Aside from some effects for cortisol, in fact, there was little evidence of specificity, and most of the significant findings reported would be expected by chance alone. I also contend that Denson et al. fail to consider some important sources of evidence bearing on the specificity hypothesis, particularly how appraisals and emotions couple with autonomic nervous system endpoints and functional indices of immune response. If selective pressures did give rise to an integrated stress response, such pathways almost certainly would have been involved. By omitting such outcomes from the meta-analysis, the authors have overlooked what are probably the most definitive tests of the specificity hypothesis. As a result, the field is back where it started: with a lot of affection for the concept of integrated specificity, but little in the way of definitive evidence to refute or accept it.
The Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rat has been proposed as an animal model of depressive behavior and exhibits hyper-responsiveness to stressful stimulation when compared to other rat strains. We have demonstrated that WKY rats consume 200% more alcohol under naïve conditions as compared to their outbred counterparts, Wistar (WIS) rats. The present study was designed to understand the influence of stress and alcohol consumption on central dopamine type-2 (D2) receptor sites in these two behaviorally distinct rat strains. The first part of this study examined the effects of chronic stress on alcohol consumption, while the second part examined the binding of [125I]-Iodosulpiride to D2 receptors in control, stressed or stress and alcohol co-treated WKY compared to WIS rats. Exposure to chronic stress led to an increase in the amount of alcohol consumed by both rat strains, with WKY rats consuming significantly more alcohol than WIS rats with or without stress exposure. Quantitative autoradiography experiments showed that chronic stress increased D2 receptor binding in the caudate putamen (CPu), nucleus accumbens (NAc), substantia nigra (SN) and ventral tegmental area (VTA) of WKY rats, and reduced receptor binding in the CPu and SN of WIS rats. Compared to the stressed-animals, WKY rats co-treated with stress and alcohol demonstrated a reduction in D2 receptor sites in the cell body regions (SN and VTA), while WIS rats showed no changes in receptor binding. The observed changes in D2 receptor sites may indicate altered DA neurotransmission following stress and alcohol exposure. Since stressed WKY rats consumed more alcohol, it is possible that consumption of alcohol reverses the stress-induced D2 receptor alterations in the cell body regions, suggestive of a self medicating phenotype.
Stress; Alcohol; Wistar-Kyoto rat; Doamine-2 receptor
To investigate the psychological processes that underlie the relation between exposure to alcohol use in media with adolescent alcohol use.
Structural equation modeling analysis of data from four waves of a longitudinal, nationally-representative, random-digit dial telephone survey of adolescents in the United States.
Main Outcome Measures
Adolescent alcohol consumption and willingness to use alcohol. Tested mediators were alcohol-related norms, prototypes, expectancies, and friends' use.
Alcohol prototypes, expectancies, willingness, and friends' use of alcohol (but not perceived prevalence of alcohol use among peers) were significant mediators of the relation between movie alcohol exposure and alcohol consumption, even after controlling for demographic, child, and family factors associated with both movie exposure and alcohol consumption.
Established psychological and interpersonal predictors of alcohol use mediate the effects of exposure to alcohol use in movies on adolescent alcohol consumption. The findings suggest that exposure movie portrayals may operate through similar processes as other social influences, highlighting the importance of considering these exposures in research on adolescent risk behavior.
alcohol drinking patterns; social influences; alcohol attitudes; adolescent development; films
γ-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) reduces (a) alcohol intake and alcohol motivational properties in alcohol-preferring rats and (b) alcohol drinking and craving for alcohol in human alcoholics. The present study was designed to extend to relapse-like drinking the capacity of GHB to suppress different alcohol-related behaviors in alcohol-preferring rats. The “alcohol deprivation effect,” defined as the temporary increase in alcohol intake occurring in laboratory animals after a period of alcohol deprivation, was used as model of alcohol relapse. Acute administration of non-sedative doses of GHB (0, 100, 200, and 300 mg/kg, i.p.) resulted in the complete suppression of the extra-amount of alcohol consumed by Sardinian alcohol-preferring rats during the first hour of re-access to alcohol after a 14-day period of deprivation. These data demonstrate that GHB suppressed relapse-like drinking in a rat model of excessive alcohol consumption.
γ-hydroxybutyric acid; alcohol deprivation effect; relapse-like drinking; GABAB receptor; Sardinian alcohol-preferring rats
Simultaneous use of alcohol and cannabis predicts increased negative consequences for users beyond individual or even concurrent use of the two drugs. Given the widespread use of the drugs and common simultaneous consumption, problems unique to simultaneous use may bear important implications for many substance users. Cognitive expectancies offer a template for future drug use behavior based on previous drug experiences, accurately predicting future use and problems. Studies reveal similar mechanisms underlying both alcohol and cannabis expectancies, but little research examines simultaneous expectancies for alcohol and cannabis use. Whereas research has demonstrated unique outcomes associated with simultaneous alcohol and cannabis use, this study hypothesized that unique cognitive expectancies may underlie simultaneous alcohol and cannabis use. Results: This study examined a sample of 2600 (66% male; 34% female) Internet survey respondents solicited through advertisements with online cannabis-related organizations. The study employed known measures of drug use and expectancies, as well as a new measure of simultaneous drug use expectancies. Expectancies for simultaneous use of alcohol and cannabis predicted simultaneous use over and above expectancies for each drug individually.
Simultaneous expectancies may provide meaningful information not available with individual drug expectancies. These findings bear potential implications on the assessment and treatment of substance abuse problems, as well as researcher conceptualizations of drug expectancies. Policies directing the treatment of substance abuse and its funding ought to give unique consideration to simultaneous drug use and its cognitive underlying factors.
Cognitive factors associated with drinking behavior such as positive alcohol expectancies, self-efficacy, perception of impaired control over drinking and perception of drinking problems are considered to have a significant influence on treatment effects and outcome in alcohol-dependent patients. However, the development of a rating scale on lack of perception or denial of drinking problems and impaired control over drinking has not been substantial, even though these are important factors in patients under abstinence-oriented treatment as well as participants in self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). The Drinking-Related Cognitions Scale (DRCS) is a new self-reported rating scale developed to briefly measure cognitive factors associated with drinking behavior in alcohol-dependent patients under abstinence-oriented treatment, including positive alcohol expectancies, abstinence self-efficacy, perception of impaired control over drinking, and perception of drinking problems. Here, we conducted a prospective cohort study to explore the predictive validity of DRCS.
Participants in this study were 175 middle-aged and elderly Japanese male patients who met the DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria for Alcohol Dependence. DRCS scores were recorded before and after the inpatient abstinence-oriented treatment program, and treatment outcome was evaluated one year after discharge.
Of the 175 participants, 30 were not available for follow-up; thus the number of subjects for analysis in this study was 145. When the total DRCS score and subscale scores were compared before and after inpatient treatment, a significant increase was seen for both scores. Both the total DRCS score and each subscale score were significantly related to total abstinence, percentage of abstinent days, and the first drinking occasion during the one-year post-treatment period. Therefore, good treatment outcome was significantly predicted by low positive alcohol expectancies, high abstinence self-efficacy, high perception level of impaired control over drinking, and high perception level of drinking problems measured by DRCS.
The DRCS was considered to have satisfactory predictive validity, which further supports our previous findings. It was suggested that DRCS is a promising rating scale for evaluating multidimensional cognitive factors associated with drinking behavior in alcohol-dependent patients under abstinence-oriented treatment.
Alcohol-dependent; Treatment outcome; Predictive validity; Drinking-related cognitions scale; Abstinence-oriented treatment; Positive alcohol expectancies; Abstinence self-efficacy; Perception of impaired control; Perception of drinking problems; Denial
The number of Americans who are overweight or obese has reached epidemic proportions. Elevated weight is associated with health problems and increased medical expenditures. This paper analyzes Waves 1 and 2 of the National Epidemiological Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) to investigate the role of alcohol consumption in weight gain. Alcohol is not only an addictive substance but also a high-calorie beverage that can interfere with metabolic function and cognitive processes. Because men and women differ in the type and amount of alcohol they consume, in the biological effects they experience as a result of alcohol consumption, and in the consequences they face as a result of obesity, we expect our results to differ by gender. We use first-difference models of body mass index (BMI) and alcohol consumption (frequency and intensity) to control for time-invariant unobservable factors that may influence changes in both alcohol use and weight status. Increasing frequency and intensity of alcohol use is associated with statistically significant yet quantitatively small weight gain for men but not for women. Moreover, the first-difference results are much smaller in magnitude and sometimes different in sign compared to the benchmark pooled cross-sectional estimates.
alcohol; body weight; BMI; obesity; fixed-effects
Dual process models of addiction suggest that the influence of alcohol-related cognition might be dependent on the level of executive functioning. This study investigated if the interaction between implicit and explicit alcohol-related cognitions and working memory capacity predicted alcohol use after one month in at-risk youth. Implicit and explicit alcohol-related cognitions were assessed in 88 Dutch at-risk adolescents ranging in age from 14 to 20 (51 males) with an adapted version of the Implicit Association Test (IAT) and an expectancy questionnaire. Working memory capacity was assessed using the computer-based version of the Self-Ordered Pointing Task (SOPT). Alcohol use and alcohol-related problems were measured at baseline and after one month with self-report questionnaires. The hierarchical regression analysis showed that both the interaction between implicit positive-arousal cognitions and working memory capacity and the interaction between explicit positive-arousal cognitions and working memory capacity predicted unique variance in alcohol use after one month. Implicit positive-arousal cognitions predicted alcohol use after one month more strongly in students with lower levels of working memory capacity, whereas explicit positive-arousal cognitions predicted one-month follow-up alcohol use more strongly in students with higher levels of working memory capacity. This could imply that different intervention methods could be effective for different subgroups of at-risk youth.
implicit cognition; explicit cognition; executive functioning; IAT; adolescence; alcohol use
Like other addictions, alcoholism reflects the continuation of alcohol use despite negative consequences (e.g., an ulcer or family problems made worse by alcohol consumption). Recent cognitive theories suggest that optimal information processing related to the capacity to make decisions under uncertainty conditions is impaired either prior to the initiation of alcohol use, or it is related to the consequence of its repeated utilization. In this paper, we suggest that alcoholism may be the product of an imbalance between two separate, but interacting, cognitive registers that contribute to decision making: a reactive/automatic attentional and memory system for signaling the presence of alcohol cues in the environment and for attributing to such cues pleasure and/or excitement; and a reflective/nonautomatic system for regulating the dominant reactive/automatic response. Hyperactivity within the reactive system can override the reflective system and brain/cognitive changes induced by ethanol could lead to the disruption of self-regulation. We finally develop the idea that different patterns of imbalance between reactive and reflective systems could lead to distinct patterns of clinical impulsivity involved in the vulnerability to, the development of, and the relapse into alcoholism.
alcoholism; decision making; implicit; cognitive biases; inhibition; working memory
Genetic factors are presumed to contribute to individual differences in alcohol expectancies, but few studies have examined this possibility directly. Genes with functional implications for alcohol metabolism and sensitivity are good candidates for studies of genetic effects on expectancy processes. The present study evaluated influences of ALDH2 and ADH1B genotypes on alcohol expectancies and drinking behavior in a sample of Asian-American young adults. In addition to assessing global alcohol expectancies, a measure of physiological expectancies was developed to evaluate an expectancy phenotype specific to the mechanism by which ALDH2 and ADH1B variations presumably influence drinking behavior. Compared to individuals with the ALDH2*1/*1 genotype, those with the ALDH2*2 allele reported greater negative alcohol expectancies, greater expectancies for physiological effects of alcohol and lower rates of alcohol use. ADH1B was not associated with alcohol expectancies or drinking behavior. Hierarchical models showed that demographic factors, ALDH2 genotype and expectancy variables explained unique variance in drinking outcomes. Mediation tests showed significant indirect effects of ALDH2 on drinking frequency and peak lifetime consumption via expectancies. These results provide support for influences of genetic factors and alcohol sensitivity on alcohol-related learning and suggest the importance of developing biopsychosocial models of drinking behavior in Asian Americans.
ALDH2; ADH1B; genetic; alcohol expectancies; Asian Americans; college students
Alcohol abuse is associated with a cluster of long-term changes in cognitive processes, as predicted by contemporary models of addiction. In this paper we review evidence which suggests that similar changes may occur during an alcohol binge, and as such they may play an important role in explaining the loss of control over alcohol consumption that occurs during alcohol binges. As a consequence of both acute alcohol intoxication (alcohol ‘priming’ effects) and exposure to environmental alcohol-related cues, we suggest that a number of changes in cognitive processes are likely. These include increased subjective craving for alcohol, increased positive and arousing outcome expectancies and implicit associations for alcohol use, increased attentional bias for alcohol-related cues, increased action tendencies to approach alcohol, increased impulsive decision-making, and impaired inhibitory control over drives and behaviour. Potential reciprocal relationships between these different aspects of cognition during an alcohol binge are discussed. Finally, we discuss the relationship between the current model and existing models of cognitive processes in substance abuse, and we speculate on the implications of the model for the reduction binge drinking and its consequences.
Alcohol; binge drinking; priming; cues; craving; attentional bias; implicit cognition; impulsivity; inhibitory control; outcome expectancies
Previous research has shown that alcohol consumption can increase the expression of race bias by impairing control-related processes. The current study tested whether simple exposure to alcohol-related images can also increase bias, but via a different mechanism. Participants viewed magazine ads for either alcoholic or nonalcoholic beverages prior to completing Payne’s (2001) Weapons Identification Task (WIT). As predicted, participants primed with alcohol ads exhibited greater race bias in the WIT than participants primed with neutral beverages. Process dissociation analyses indicated that these effects were due to automatic (relative to controlled) processes having a larger influence on behavior among alcohol-primed relative to neutral-primed participants. Structural equation modeling further showed that the alcohol-priming effect was mediated by increases in the influence of automatic associations on behavior. These data suggest an additional pathway by which alcohol can potentially harm inter-racial interactions, even when no beverage is consumed.
alcohol; priming; racial bias; automaticity
Tobacco and alcohol use in movies could be influenced by product placement agreements. Tobacco brand placement was limited by the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) after 1998, while alcohol is subject to self-regulation only.
To examine recent trends for tobacco and alcohol use in movies. We expected that the MSA would be associated with declines in tobacco but not alcohol brand placement (hypothesis formulated after data collection).
Top 100 box-office hits released in the United States from 1996 through 2009 (N = 1400).
The MSA, an agreement signed in 1998 between the state attorneys general and tobacco companies, ended payments for tobacco brand placements in movies.
Main Outcomes and Measures
Trend for tobacco and alcohol brand counts and seconds of screen time for the pre-MSA period from 1996 through 1999 compared with the post-MSA period from 2000 through 2009.
Altogether, the 1400 movies contained 500 tobacco and 2433 alcohol brand appearances. After implementation of the MSA, tobacco brand appearances dropped exponentially by 7.0% (95% CI, 5.4%–8.7%) each year, then held at a level of 22 per year after 2006. The MSA also heralded a drop in tobacco screen time for youth- and adult-rated movies (42.3% [95% CI, 24.1%–60.2%] and 85.4% [56.1%–100.0%], respectively). In contrast, there was little change in alcohol brand appearances or alcohol screen time overall. In addition, alcohol brand appearances in youth-rated movies trended upward during the period from 80 to 145 per year, an increase of 5.2 (95% CI, 2.4–7.9) appearances per year.
Conclusions and Relevance
Tobacco brands in movies declined after implementation of externally enforced constraints on the practice, coinciding also with a decline in tobacco screen time and suggesting that enforced limits on tobacco brand placement also limited onscreen depictions of smoking. Alcohol brand placement, subject only to industry self-regulation, was found increasingly in movies rated for youth as young as 13 years, despite the industry’s intent to avoid marketing to underage persons.
This paper reports on the first longitudinal test of the Acquired Preparedness (AP) model of alcoholism risk, which holds that individual differences in key personality traits influence drinking behavior by influencing alcohol-related learning. The authors studied 418 individuals making the transition to the independence of college across three longitudinal waves. Each of two longitudinal models predicting typical drinking quantity provided support for the AP process. In the first, drinking quantity at the end of the first year of college was predicted by positive urgency (the tendency to act rashly when experiencing extremely positive affect) at the start of college, and that predictive relationship appeared to have been mediated by expectancies that alcohol provides positive, arousing effects. In the second, drinking quantity was predicted by negative urgency (the tendency to act rashly when experiencing extremely negative affect) at the start of college, and that relationship appeared to have been mediated by the motive to drink alcohol to cope with subjective distress.
Alcohol consumption; risk processes; longitudinal; personality; learning; acquired preparedness
Research indicates that brief motivational interventions are efficacious treatments for hazardous drinking. Little is known, however, about the psychological processes that may moderate intervention success. Based on growing evidence that drinking behavior may be influenced by automatic (nonvolitional) mental processes, the current study examined whether automatic alcohol-approach associations moderated the effect of a brief motivational intervention. Specifically, we examined whether the efficacy of a single-session intervention designed to increase motivation to reduce alcohol consumption would be moderated by the strength of participants’ automatic alcohol-approach associations.
Eighty-seven undergraduate hazardous drinkers participated for course credit. Participants completed an Implicit Association Test to measure automatic alcohol-approach associations, a baseline measure of readiness to change drinking behavior, and measures of alcohol involvement. Participants were then randomly assigned to either a brief (15-minute) motivational intervention or a control condition. Participants completed a measure of readiness to change drinking at the end of the first session and returned for a follow-up session six weeks later in which they reported on their drinking over the previous month.
Compared with the control group, those in the intervention condition showed higher readiness to change drinking at the end of the baseline session but did not show decreased drinking quantity at follow-up. Automatic alcohol-approach associations moderated the effects of the intervention on change in drinking quantity. Among participants in the intervention group, those with weak automatic alcohol-approach associations showed greater reductions in the amount of alcohol consumed per occasion at follow-up compared with those with strong automatic alcohol-approach associations. Automatic appetitive associations with alcohol were not related with change in amount of alcohol consumed per occasion in control participants. Furthermore, among participants who showed higher readiness to change, those who exhibited weaker alcohol-approach associations showed greater reductions in drinking quantity compared with those who exhibited stronger alcohol-approach associations.
The results support the idea that automatic mental processes may moderate the influence of brief motivational interventions on quantity of alcohol consumed per drinking occasion. The findings suggest that intervention efficacy may be improved by utilizing implicit measures to identify those who may be responsive to brief interventions and by developing intervention elements to address the influence of automatic processes on drinking behavior.
Automatic processes; Alcohol; Implicit association test; Motivational intervention; Self-control; Self-regulation; Addiction