Psychology (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Jessica J. Brooks, Ph.D.


Recent research has uncovered the interactions between implicit alcohol motivations and drinking behaviors after emotion inductions (Ostafin & Brooks, 2011). However, little research has supplemented such findings. This longitudinal two-part study examined the impact of a personalized emotion induction on implicit alcohol-related associations in a college sample enrolled at southern university. 215 participants were randomly assigned to one of three emotion-induction conditions (negative, neutral, or positive). During phase I, participants completed a baseline Implicit Association Tests (IAT; Greenwald et al., 1998) to assess implicit alcohol-related cognitions related to valence and motivation. Based on condition, participants were also asked to describe in detail a recent negative, neutral, or positive experience that would later be used to induce emotion in phase II. 88 participants returned for phase II. Participants listened to an individualized guided imagery recording intended to induce the emotion of their assigned condition. The same IATs from phase I were administered post-emotion induction. Due insufficient power, significant changes in alcohol-related cognitions after the emotion induction, regardless of assigned condition, were not observed. However, implicit alcohol motivation was significantly correlated to impulsivity problems, and implicit valence-related alcohol associations were significantly correlated with engagement in problematic drinking practices, difficulties controlling alcohol consumption, and several drinking motives. Implications and limitations of findings, as well as future areas of research, are discussed.

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