Researcher ORCID Identifier

Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Piercarlo Valdesolo

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Given the strong presence of alcohol cues in the media, this study aimed to investigate whether exposure to a visual alcohol cue versus a neutral cue would elicit memories about alcohol and increase the likelihood to engage in risk taking behavior, particularly for individuals who consume higher levels of alcohol or who report positive memories associated with alcohol. Through an online Qualtrics survey, 110 college student participants watched either two video advertisements for alcohol brands (alcohol cue), or two advertisements for soda brands (neutral cue), and then completed a memory cue task to assess if positive, neutral or negative memories involving alcohol became salient. Participants then completed the Domain Specific Risk Taking Scale, and a demographic survey assessing typical weekly alcohol consumption. The results from this study did not support any of the hypotheses about the proposed relationship between alcohol cues and risk taking, however results did find that heavy drinking behavior was associated with a higher risk taking score. It is possible that the lack of support for the hypotheses was due to the cue word task priming alcohol for a majority of participants, limited sample size, or the use of a more stable measurement of risk. Further research on the possibility of a relationship between alcohol cues and risk taking behavior would be beneficial.