Alcohol approach tendencies in heavy drinkers: Comparison of effects in a Relevant Stimulus-Response Compatibility Task and an approach / avoidance Simon task

Matt Field, Rhiann Caren, Gordon Fernie, Jan De Houwer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)697-701
Number of pages5
JournalPsychology of Addictive Behaviors
Volume25
Issue number4
Early online date2 May 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Alcohol approach tendencies in heavy drinkers: Comparison of effects in a Relevant Stimulus-Response Compatibility Task and an approach / avoidance Simon task'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this