Memory Activation and Expectancy as Prospective Predictors of Alcohol and Marijuana Use

Document Type



Community and Global Health (CGU)

Publication Date



Medicine and Health Sciences | Mental and Social Health | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Substance Abuse and Addiction


This study examined whether indicators of drug-related memory associations predicted drug use prospectively. The predictive effects of outcome expectancies, sensation seeking, and other variables also were investigated. The results revealed that the memory association measures significantly predicted subsequent drug use. Outcome expectancies and sensation seeking predicted alcohol use, but not marijuana use. The findings suggest 2 possibly different aspects of cognition involved in drug use motivation: (a) a memory activation or implicit cognition component, representing the effects of memory associations that are prompted relatively spontaneously by the prevailing motivational and situational circumstances and (b) an outcome expectancy component, which is more likely to reflect explicit cognitions involved in introspection and deliberate decision-making processes.

Rights Information

© 1997 American Psychological Association