The Effect of State Boredom on Attentional Bias in Light and Heavy Social Drinkers


Project Synopsis:

Attentional bias is an implicit measure of individuals' reaction times to environmental cues. Research has shown that heavy drinkers and alcohol dependent drinkers have higher attentional bias to alcohol related information, thus making it likely that they attend to alcohol-related stimuli outside of their awareness. This unconscious process is through to be a likely contributor to maintenance of alcohol misuse and relapse after abstinence. At this point, few emotional or cognitive states have been identified to increase attentional bias in this population. This study, therefore, seeks to understand the effect of experimentally induced state boredom on attentional bias to alcohol related cues in light and heavy drinkers.


This project is already very much underway, with 30 light drinkers having been sampled and 12 heavy drinkers having been sampled. The goal is to sample an additional 18 heavy drinkers. Researchers involved in this project would have the opportunity to recruit participants via the internet and flyers/posters and interview the test participants experimentally within the lab. This includes gaining experience with alcohol-related interviews and the computer program ePrime.


Researchers would see participants on an as needed basis, with a commitment of 1-3 hours per week