- Does Negative Affect Prime Alcohol in Alcohol-Dependent Inpatients? A Large-Scale Clinical Investigation of the Moderating role of Depression and Executive Control
- Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
- Volume | Issue number
- 4 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
The present study tested to what extent alcohol-related concepts are automatically activated by negative affective words. Participants were alcohol-dependent inpatients (n = 847) and an inpatient control group (n = 130). An affective priming task was used to assess the automatic activation of alcohol-related memory associations. Executive control was assessed with an adapted Stroop task. We expected alcohol-dependent inpatients to show enhanced alcohol activation after negative primes. In addition, we predicted that this enhanced negative priming effect would be further qualified by participants' levels of depressive symptoms. Finally, we expected the interaction between executive control and priming effect as well as the interaction between executive control, priming effect and depressive symptoms to be predictive for group membership. Results showed that alcohol-dependent inpatients did not show an priming effect by negative words, and this effect was not moderated by levels of depressive symptoms. Moreover, group membership was not predicted by the interaction between priming effect and executive control, nor by the interaction between priming effect, executive control and depressive symptoms. We conclude that these results are most likely due to the particular population we studied (i.e., inpatients instead of at-risk populations) and to features of the priming task (i.e., low reliability, part of a test battery).
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