Alcoholic Subjects' Attentional Bias in the Processing of Alcohol-Related Words


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Abstract

Attentional bias for alcohol-related words was studied in 18 alcoholic and 18 matched control subjects with a modified version of the Stroop Color and Word Test (1935) that included color-interfering, alcohol-related, and neutral words. Results indicate that (a) alcoholic subjects responded more slowly to all word categories than control subjects (p < .009), (b) both alcoholic and control subjects responded more slowly to color-interfering words than to neutral words (p < .01), and (c) only alcoholic subjects responded more slowly to alcohol-related words than to neutral words (p < .01). Findings indicate that when the alcoholic subjects were confronted with alcohol-related stimuli, cognitive processes presumably began that made it impossible for them to ignore the meaning of the words and their resources were allocated to the content of the alcohol stimuli.

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