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Implicit alcohol-related expectancies and the effect of context

Monk, Rebecca L.; Pennington, Charlotte R.; Campbell, Claire; Price, Alan; Heim, Derek


Rebecca L. Monk

Claire Campbell

Alan Price

Derek Heim


Objective: The current study examined the impact of varying pictorial cues and testing contexts on implicit alcohol-related expectancies. Method: Seventy-six participants were assigned randomly to complete an Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) in either a pub or lecture context. The IRAP exposed participants to pictorial cues that depicted an alcoholic beverage in the foreground of a pub (alcohol- congruent stimuli) or university lecture theater (alcohol-incongruent stimuli), and participants were required to match both positive and negative alcohol-related outcome expectancies to these stimuli. Corresponding to a 4 x 2 design, IRAP trial- types were included in the analysis as repeated measure variables whereas testing environment was input as a between-participants variable. Results: Participants more readily endorsed that drinking alcohol was related to positive expectancies when responding to alcohol-congruent stimuli and this was strengthened when participants completed the task in a pub. Moreover, they more readily confirmed that alcohol was related to negative expectancies when responding to alcohol incongruent stimuli. Conclusions: These findings suggest that alcohol-related cues and environmental contexts may be a significant driver of positive alcohol-related cognitions, which may have implications for the design of interventions. They emphasize further the importance of examining implicit cognitions in ecologically valid testing contexts.


Monk, R. L., Pennington, C., Campbell, C., Price, A., & Heim, D. (2016). Implicit alcohol-related expectancies and the effect of context. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 77(5), 819-827.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 2, 2016
Publication Date Sep 7, 2016
Journal Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
Print ISSN 1937-1888
Publisher Alcohol Research Documentation
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 77
Issue 5
Pages 819-827
Keywords alcohol, outcome expectancies, context, implicit cognitions
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