The mood-induced activation of implicit alcohol cognition in enhancement and coping motivated drinkers

C.D. Birch*, S. Stewart, R.W.H.J. Wiers, R.M. Klein, A.D. MacLean, M.J. Berish

*Corresponding author for this work

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In two experiments, we investigated whether different mood states activate specific types of implicit alcohol cognition among undergraduates classified as enhancement (EM) or coping (CM) motivated drinkers. Participants completed a Stroop task in Experiment 1 (n = 81), and an Extrinsic Affective Simon Task (EAST; [De Houwer, J. (2003). The Extrinsic Affective Simon Task. Experimental Psychology, 50, 77-85.]) in Experiment 2 (n = 79) following random assignment to listen to positive or negative musical mood induction procedures (MMIP). Consistent with hypotheses, only EM, and not CM, drinkers displayed an activation of implicit attention to alcohol cues (Experiment 1) and reward-alcohol implicit associations (Experiment 2) following exposure to positive MMIP. Contrary to hypotheses for CM drinkers, none of the groups, in either experiment, showed an activation of implicit alcohol processing following exposure to negative MMIP. Confidence that positive mood activates implicit alcohol cognition among EM drinkers is increased since this result emerged across two studies involving quite different methodologies. This research has implications for experimental cognitive research and it highlights the potential utility of treatment matching according to drinking motives (e.g., EM) to improve clinical outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-581
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Volume33 (4)
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008

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