- Here’s looking at you, Bud: alcohol-related memory structures predict eye movements for social drinkers with low executive control
- Social Psychological and Personality Science
- Volume | Issue number
- 1 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
This research investigated the role of individual differences for the control of attention in the early stages of self-regulation. Theories on the development of addiction posit that repeated substance use alters memory structures referring to the substance through classical conditioning processes, leading to the attention-grabbing properties of the substance. The authors predicted that such memory structures influence attentional processes toward the substance, but only in individuals with low executive control. One executive function that is closely related to attention control is working memory capacity. Using eye-tracking methodology, the authors found individual differences in an alcohol single category implicit association test to predict indicators of attention allocation such as initial orienting and attention maintenance for social drinkers low but not high in working memory capacity. This effect primarily resulted from the controlled attention component as opposed to the short-term memory component of working memory capacity. Implications and directions for further research are discussed.
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