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Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2017 Sep;43(5):534-544. doi: 10.1080/00952990.2016.1216557. Epub 2016 Sep 13.

Affective decision-making moderates the effects of automatic associations on alcohol use among drug offenders.

Author information

1
a School of Community and Global Health , Claremont Graduate University , Claremont , CA , USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

This study used a dual-process model of cognition in order to investigate the possible influence of automatic and deliberative processes on lifetime alcohol use in a sample of drug offenders.

OBJECTIVE:

The objective was to determine if automatic/implicit associations in memory can exert an influence over an individual's alcohol use and if decision-making ability could potentially modify the influence of these associations.

METHODS:

168 participants completed a battery of cognitive tests measuring implicit alcohol associations in memory (verb generation) as well as their affective decision-making ability (Iowa Gambling Task). Structural equation modeling procedures were used to test the relationship between implicit associations, decision-making, and lifetime alcohol use.

RESULTS:

Results revealed that among participants with lower levels of decision-making, implicit alcohol associations more strongly predicted higher lifetime alcohol use.

CONCLUSION:

These findings provide further support for the interaction between a specific decision function and its influence over automatic processes in regulating alcohol use behavior in a risky population. Understanding the interaction between automatic associations and decision processes may aid in developing more effective intervention components.

KEYWORDS:

Dual process; alcohol use; decision-making; implicit associations

PMID:
27624979
PMCID:
PMC6097230
DOI:
10.1080/00952990.2016.1216557
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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