Cognitive Preoccupation With Alcohol and Binge Drinking in College Students: Alcohol-Induced Priming of the Motivation to Drink

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This research examined alcohol-induced motivation to drink as a factor that contributes to preoccupation with drinking. Forty undergraduates rated their degree of preoccupation with drinking. The author determined the relationship between the undergraduates' preoccupation and the degree to which alcohol primed their motivation to drink by having them rate their desire for alcohol after they consumed a dose of alcohol or a placebo. Results showed that individual differences in preoccupation were predicted by the priming effects displayed after alcohol was consumed. More preoccupied individuals reported greater priming effects. Priming effects following placebo were minimal and were not related to preoccupation. The research shows that reinforcing effects of alcohol may contribute to cognitive preoccupation with drinking and promote patterns of alcohol abuse.

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