Personalizing the alcohol-IAT with individualized stimuli: relationship with drinking behavior and drinking-related problems

K.M.P.I. Houben*, R.W.H.J. Wiers

*Corresponding author for this work

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Research aimed at uncovering implicit cognitive processes involved in alcohol use and abuse has demonstrated that implicit attitudes toward alcohol are negative and unrelated to drinking behavior. Here, it was examined whether these findings could be due to contamination of the IAT by extrapersonal associations that are irrelevant to behavior. Participants performed a traditional alcohol-IAT as well as a personalized IAT, which has been demonstrated to reduce extrapersonal contamination. Additionally, the personalized IAT presented individualized stimuli, which should further reduce extrapersonal contamination. Consistent with this hypothesis, significantly weaker IAT effects emerged in the personalized IAT compared to the traditional IAT. However, both the traditional and personalized IAT still indicated negative implicit attitudes toward alcohol. Incremental predictive validity was demonstrated for both tasks. Importantly, these findings underscore the importance of implicit attitudes toward alcohol as determinants of alcohol use and abuse.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2852-2864
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007

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