Subjective Cue Reactivity in Social Drinkers: Multi-Dimensional Measures of Alcohol Desires and Outcome Expectancies

Schulze, Daniela (1999) Subjective Cue Reactivity in Social Drinkers: Multi-Dimensional Measures of Alcohol Desires and Outcome Expectancies. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Research into subjective alcohol cue reactivity has been criticised for the use of uni-dimensional scales to assess subjective cue responses, which do not adequately represent the complexity of contemporary theories on subjective desires, cravings and urges for alcohol. A series of experiments is reported in which a recently developed multi-dimensional assessment tool (Desire for Alcohol Questionnaire, DAQ: Love et al., 1998) is used to explore subjective alcohol cue responses in social drinkers. Experiment One exposed 86 social drinkers to the sight, smell and taste of their preferred alcoholic and soft drink and subsequently assessed subjective cue responses using the 14-item, self-report DAQ. Analyses of the data revealed significant within-subjects effects on all four DAQ subscales. Experiment Two extended the range of assessed measures to alcohol outcome expectancies by employing the Alcohol Expectancy Questionnaire (AEQ, Brown, Christiansen & Goldman, 1987) and the Negative Alcohol Expectancy Questionnaire (NAEQ, Jones & McMahon, 1994). A between-subjects design assessed the desire and outcome expectancy responses of 88 social drinkers after exposure to the sight, smell and taste of participants' preferred alcoholic or soft drink. Significant alcohol cue effects were detected on two DAQ factors, and on a third DAQ factor {Control over Drinking) only when desire measurement was preceded by testing on the expectancy questionnaires. No significant effects on any of the outcome expectancy subscales were found. However, moderate correlations between the DAQ factors and positive outcome expectancies were reported. Experiment Three investigated the effects of an alcohol priming dose by assessing desires for alcohol in 64 social drinkers after consumption of one or two alcoholic or soft drinks. The consumption of an alcohol priming dose decreased subjective feelings of control over drinking. Experiment Four used a 2x2 between-subjects design to test whether internal or external alcohol cues exert a greater influence on desires to drink. Half of the 60 volunteer social drinkers consumed a concealed alcohol priming dose and the rest consumed non-alcoholic fruit juice during a priming phase. During a subsequent exposure phase, half the participants were exposed to the sight, smell and taste of alcohol; the other half underwent soft drink cue exposure. No effects were detected for the concealed alcohol priming dose but external alcohol cues increased desires to drink on DAQ factor Mild Intentions and Positive Reinforcement, The reported experiments present evidence that alcohol cue responses can be elicited on different aspects of subjective desires in social drinkers, and therefore a multidimensional approach to desire measurement should be adopted. Although outcome expectancies were not shown to be cue responsive, moderate correlations between both concepts emphasise the relationship between anticipated positive outcomes of drug use behaviour and desires to drink. The results from the final experiment stress the importance of cognitive stimuli in subjective responding, in particular knowledge of consumption. Future research could have considerable implications in applied fields (e.g. clinical, advertising) if more attention is paid to the importance of cognitive stimuli associated with alcohol use.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: Barry T Jones
Keywords: Clinical psychology, Social psychology
Date of Award: 1999
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1999-75505
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2019 19:37
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2019 19:37

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