Date of Award

5-2015

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

Advisor(s)

Randall S. Jorgensen

Keywords

Alcohol, College Students, Cues, Emotional Responses, Psychometrics

Subject Categories

Psychology

Abstract

To study alcohol approach inclinations in a laboratory setting, researchers commonly use cue reactivity paradigms involving presentation of alcohol cues and measurement of responses. However, available picture sets present potential limitations due to their multidimensional nature. A critical task was to develop a set of standardized images without brand labels, actors, or settings, in order to gain a clearer assessment of college students’ reactions to alcohol, and alcohol alone, while minimizing contextual influences. In Study 1, a set of images with satisfactory reliability was created. To replicate and expand upon these findings, Study 2 included a sample of 163 participants (82 women, M age = 18.8, 59.3% Caucasian). Following completion of a questionnaire packet of different measures of approach toward alcohol, participants rated 30 affective images from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS), and 30 images of alcohol (beer, wine, liquor). Results demonstrated that our standardized picture set has acceptable psychometric properties associated with an approach valence. Specifically, valence ratings showed (a) acceptable internal consistency and (b) convergent validity with other measures of behavioral approach toward alcohol (viz., reported frequency of alcohol consumption, average number of drinks consumed per drinking day, number of binge drinking days and total drinks consumed per week). These findings suggest that our alcohol images were associated with producing an approach response and support their continued use in college populations.

Access

Open Access

Included in

Psychology Commons

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