A real-time examination of context effects on alcohol cognitions

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: This research used context aware experiential sampling to investigate the effect of contexts on in vivo alcohol-related outcome expectancies. METHODS: A time-stratified random sampling strategy was adopted to assess 72 students and young professionals at 5 daily intervals over the course of a week using a specifically designed smartphone application. This application recorded respondents' present situational and social contexts, alcohol consumption, and alcohol-related cognitions in real-time. RESULTS: In vivo social and environmental contexts and current alcohol consumption accounted for a significant proportion of variance in outcome expectancies. For instance, prompts which occurred while participants were situated in a pub, bar, or club and in a social group of friends were associated with heightened outcome expectancies in comparison with other settings. CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol-related expectancies do not appear to be static but instead demonstrate variation across social and environmental contexts. Modern technology can be usefully employed to provide a more ecologically valid means of measuring such beliefs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2454-2459
Number of pages6
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research Online
Volume38
Issue number9
Early online date24 Sep 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014

Keywords

  • Alcohol
  • Context
  • Expectancies
  • Real-time sampling
  • Smartphone technology
  • Social cognition
  • Social cognition models

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