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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2014 Jan 1;134:410-413. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2013.10.021. Epub 2013 Nov 5.

Individualised but not general alcohol Stroop predicts alcohol use.

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School of Psychology, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 7ZA, UK. Electronic address:
School of Psychology, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 7ZA, UK.



Recently, there have been investigations that have targeted improving the relatively poor validity and reliability of attentional bias measures. These studies have demonstrated that individuals show elevated attentional bias to stimuli associated with their drinking history, although to date, the predictive utility of these measures has yet to be assessed. The current study aimed to investigate the predictive value of an individualised alcohol Stroop task compared to that of an alcohol Stroop task with general alcohol-related words in a sample of non-dependent undergraduate drinkers.


48 undergraduate social drinkers completed questionnaire measures of alcohol consumption and hazardous drinking which were combined to get an alcohol involvement measure. Participants also completed three blocked format Stroop tasks, a control Stroop (containing soft drink-related words), a general alcohol Stroop (containing a mixture of alcohol-related words) and an individualised Stroop that contained words relating to the participants' favourite alcoholic drink.


Although there was no significant difference in participants' performance across the three different Stroop tasks, only performance on the individualised Stroop was associated with alcohol involvement. Notably, the individualised Stroop predicted variance in drinking after controlling for demographics and general alcohol Stroop performance.


This study indicates that adopting individualised stimuli into attentional bias tasks may increase their predictive validity.


Alcohol; Attentional bias; Cognitive bias; Individualised; Stroop

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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