Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Mark S. Goldman, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kenneth Malmberg, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jonathan Rottenberg, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Robert Schlauch, Ph.D.


addiction, expectancy, free association, memory network


Numerous studies from various research groups have already shown the usefulness of alcohol expectancies as predictors of long-term future alcohol consumption. The present study extends this line of research by directly testing whether alcohol expectancies measured in the moment using free association are useful as predictors of alcohol consumption in the next few hours. An ecological momentary assessment (EMA) procedure was used to examine how alcohol expectancies might fluctuate during days in which many people expect to drink (e.g. Fridays, Saturdays) and how these fluctuations in alcohol expectancies might predict future drinking and/or co-vary with important contextual variables during that same day. The results supported our main hypothesis that increases in positively-valenced alcohol expectancies would be observed a few hours to minutes before engaging in alcohol consumption. These findings provide further evidence that anticipatory information processing is a key part of the motivational system that directs future behavior, and that probing expectancies in real-time can be useful for predicting alcohol consumption in the near future.