Individual Differences in Memory Associations Involving the Positive and Negative Outcomes of Alcohol Use

Document Type



Community and Global Health (CGU)

Publication Date



Health Psychology | Substance Abuse and Addiction


Many studies have shown that expectancies about the effects of alcohol are important predictors of alcohol use, both cross sectionally (e.g., Brown, Goldman, Inn, & Anderson, 1980; Fromme, Stroot, & Kaplan, 1993; Leigh, 1987) and prospectively (e.g., Bauman, Fisher, Bryan, & Chenoweth, 1985; Christiansen, Smith, Roehling, & Goldman, 1989; Leigh & Aas, 1995; Stacy, Widaman, & Marlatt, 1990). Because of this consistent support for the utility of expectancy constructs, a recent line of inquiry has begun to focus much more precisely on the underlying memory processes that govern expectancy effects. For example, some research has focused on how expected outcomes of alcohol use are represented in memory (Goldman, Brown, Christiansen, & Smith, 1991), and other studies have focused on how thoughts or desires related to positive outcomes (Stacy, Leigh, & Weingardt, 1994) or ambiguous alcohol cues or words (Earleywine, 1994; Stacy, 1995) may implicitly activate alcohol concepts in memory. The representation of alcohol and outcome concepts in memory and the processes through which these concepts become activated have many implications for understanding what influences behavioral decisions regarding alcohol use.

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© 1998 American Psychological Association