Implicit ambivalence toward alcohol consumption

Lindsay, Daniel, and Swinbourne, Anne (2014) Implicit ambivalence toward alcohol consumption. Drug and Alcohol Review, 33 (Supplement S1). Paper 87. p. 44.

PDF (Abstract only) - Published Version
Download (40kB) | Preview
View at Publisher Website:


Introduction and aims: contemporary research examining drinking behaviour highlights the importance of implicit processes in the initiation and maintenance of alcohol consumption. By definition, implicit attitudes are formed through experience with a target object. It is argued that implicit attitudes toward alcohol may be ambivalent because consuming alcohol can produce various negative (e.g. feeling nauseous) and positive consequences (e.g. feeling relaxed). Therefore the aim of the current study was to examine the ambivalent nature of implicit alcohol-related attitudes.

Design and methods: participants (N= 343, M= 25.72 years) completed a Single-Category Implicit Association Test (SC-IAT) in which they were required to classify alcohol-related words with positively- and negatively-valenced words. The reaction times (RTs) for each pairing were then calculated and compared. Implicit ambivalence was operationalised as having similar RTs for classifying alcohol-related words with positive words and classifying alcohol-related words with negative words.

Results: RTs for pairing alcohol with positive words (M= 752ms) were similar to those pairing alcohol with negative words (M= 716ms), suggesting implicit ambivalence toward alcohol consumption. ANOVAs revealed a pattern of results suggesting that drinking more standard drinks in a single drinking episode produced greater feelings of implicit ambivalence.

Discussion and conclusions: these findings suggest that individuals hold both positive and negative implicit evaluations toward alcohol consumption. Furthermore, implicit attitudes toward alcohol may become more ambivalent as individuals consume more alcohol. This suggests that greater alcohol consumption may produce more experiences with both positive and negative consequences and lead to the development of implicitly ambivalent attitudes.

Item ID: 37722
Item Type: Article (Abstract)
ISSN: 1465-3362
Additional Information:

This is a Special Issue: Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs Conference 2014, 9-12 November 2014, Adelaide, South Australia.

Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2015 23:29
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1702 Cognitive Science > 170202 Decision Making @ 70%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology @ 30%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920205 Health Education and Promotion @ 10%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920414 Substance Abuse @ 90%
Downloads: Total: 1058
Last 12 Months: 114
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page