To support the free and open dissemination of research findings and information on alcoholism and alcohol-related problems. To encourage open access to peer-reviewed articles free for all to view.

For full versions of posted research articles readers are encouraged to email requests for "electronic reprints" (text file, PDF files, FAX copies) to the corresponding or lead author, who is highlighted in the posting.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Alcohol approach tendencies in heavy drinkers: Comparison of effects in a relevant stimulus-response compatibility task and an approach/avoidance Simo

Several recent studies suggest that alcohol-related cues elicit automatic approach tendencies in heavy drinkers. A variety of tasks have been used to demonstrate these effects, including Relevant Stimulus-Response Compatibility (R-SRC) tasks and variants of Simon tasks.

Previous work with normative stimuli suggests that the R-SRC task may be more sensitive than Simon tasks because the activation of approach tendencies may depend on encoding of the stimuli as alcohol-related, which occurs in the R-SRC task but not in Simon tasks.

Our aim was to directly compare these tasks for the first time in the context of alcohol use. We administered alcohol versions of an R-SRC task and a Simon task to 62 social drinkers, who were designated as heavy or light drinkers based on a median split of their weekly alcohol consumption

Results indicated that, compared to light drinkers, heavy drinkers were faster to approach, rather than avoid, alcohol-related pictures in the R-SRC task but not in the Simon task.

Theoretical implications and methodological issues are discussed.

Read Full Abstract

Request Reprint E-Mail: