We investigated the moderating role of alcohol expectancy on attentional bias for alcohol-related cues.
On a trial-by-trial basis, participants were informed of the probability (100%, 50%, 0%) that they would receive beer at the end of the trial before their eye movements towards alcohol-related and control cues were measured.
Heavy social drinkers showed an attentional bias for alcohol-related cues regardless of alcohol expectancy. However, in light social drinkers, attentional bias was only seen on 100% probability trials, i.e. when alcohol was expected imminently.
Attentional bias for alcohol-related cues is sensitive to the current expectancy of receiving alcohol in light social drinkers, but it occurs independently of the current level of alcohol expectancy in heavy drinkers.
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