Drink before you think: the role of implicit cognitions in alcohol consumption

Lindsay, D., and Swinbourne, A. (2011) Drink before you think: the role of implicit cognitions in alcohol consumption. In: Combined Abstracts of 2011 Australian Psychology Conferences (2011) p. 205. From: 46th Annual Conference of the Australian Psychological Society, 4-8 October 2011, Canberra, ACT, Australia.

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A recently proposed dual-process model of health risk behaviour, the Prototype Willingness Model (PWM) suggests that there are two separate pathways and antecedents to health risk behaviour. The reasoned pathway of the PWM focuses on behavioural intentions, and accounts for the more reasoned and deliberate processes involved in the performance of health risk behaviours. In contrast, the social reaction pathway focuses on behavioural willingness, and assumes that health risk behaviour is as an automatic and impulsive reaction to the social situation an individual finds themselves in. If a dual-process health behaviour model such as the PWM can assess both implicit and explicit alcohol-related cognitions, it may be able to provide a more comprehensive understanding of why individuals initiate and maintain their drinking behaviour. Therefore, the current research aimed to investigate the relationship between the variables of the PWM and explicit and implicit alcohol-related cognitions, with a particular focus on the relationship between implicit cognitions and the social reaction pathway. A university sample of 61 individuals completed an alcohol-related Implicit Association Test (IAT) as well as a questionnaire assessing quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption, explicit alcohol-related cognitions and assessments of standing upon the variables of the PWM. The results suggest that the PWM accounts for significant variability in alcohol consumption among individuals. As well as this, implicit alcohol-related cognitions appear to influence decisions about whether or not to engage in alcohol consumption through both the rational and socially reactive pathways as proposed in the PWM. The current findings support the suggestion that a measure of an individual's implicit alcohol-related cognitions is important for understanding alcohol use because implicit alcohol-related cognitions significantly influenced individual's decisions to drink, regardless of whether those decisions were made after a thoughtful or a more automatic process. The results of this study also hold implications for alcohol advertising in Australia and alcohol-based interventions. Due to the fact that this is the first study to assess the relationship between the PWM and alcohol-related cognitions, further research needs to be done into this area to extend the results found here.

Item ID: 24960
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
ISBN: 978-0-909881-43-6
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Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2013 07:06
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology @ 70%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1702 Cognitive Science > 170202 Decision Making @ 30%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920414 Substance Abuse @ 100%
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