Implicit and Explicit AlcoholRelated Cognitions in heavy and Light Drinkers.

R.W.H.J. Wiers*, N van Woerden, F.T.Y. Smulders, P.J. de Jong

*Corresponding author for this work

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Implicit and explicit alcohol-related cognitions were measured in 2 dimensions: positive-negative (valence) and arousal-sedation, with 2 versions of the Implicit Association Test (IAT; A. G. Greenwald, D. E. McGhee, & J. L. Schwartz) and related explicit measures. Heavy drinkers (n = 24) strongly associated alcohol with arousal on the arousal IAT (especially men) and scored higher on explicit arousal expectancies than light drinkers (n = 24). On the valence IAT, both light and heavy drinkers showed strong negative implicit associations with alcohol that contrasted with their positive explicit judgments (heavy drinkers were more positive). Implicit and explicit cognitions uniquely contributed to the prediction of 1-month prospective drinking. Heavy drinkers' implicit arousal associations could reflect the sensitized psychomotor-activating response to drug cues, a motivational mechanism hypothesized to underlie the etiology of addictive behaviors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)648-658
JournalJournal of Abnormal Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002

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