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Can we change automatic processes: the influence of social priming on alcohol attentional bias

Cantarutti, S., Pothos, E. M. ORCID: 0000-0003-1919-387X, Ziori, E. & Tapper, K. ORCID: 0000-0001-9097-6311 (2023). Can we change automatic processes: the influence of social priming on alcohol attentional bias. Behavioural Pharmacology, 34(7), pp. 443-448. doi: 10.1097/fbp.0000000000000749


The Stroop Effect has been linked to social concept priming, suggesting that the latter may trigger automatic behaviour aligned with the primed concept. This study examined the effects of social priming on alcohol attentional bias, with a sample of mostly light drinkers; it used a social priming task and an alcohol-Stroop test to measure participants’ response times (RTs) before and after they had been socially primed. Participants were separated into one of three social priming conditions: Neutral, Alcohol Addiction, and Alcohol Preoccupation. A mixed ANOVA was run to determine whether participants’ RTs to alcohol-related stimuli slowed significantly after the alcohol interference tasks, relative to the neutral interference task, suggesting an alcohol attentional bias had been induced by the social priming exercise. Key interaction terms did not reveal such an interaction, but rather a general slowing down (for both neutral and alcohol stimuli), in the Alcohol conditions, relative to the Neutral one. As a result, we can conclude that while we did not induce an alcohol-specific bias in participants, we did discover a generalized interference effect, following alcohol-related social priming tasks.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Behavioural Pharmacology. The published version of record is available online at: https://10.1097/FBP.0000000000000749
Publisher Keywords: Social Priming; Stroop Task; Alcohol Attentional Bias
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of Stroop Task Manuscript.pdf] Text - Accepted Version
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