Changing Expectancies: Cognitive Mechanisms and Context Effects

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Expectancy, Alcohol, Context, Cognitive‐Mechanism, Implicit Cognition, Behavioral Change

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This article presents the proceedings of a symposium at the 2002 RSA Meeting in San Francisco, organized by Reinout W. Wiers and Mark D. Wood. The symposium combined two topics of recent interest in studies of alcohol expectancies: cognitive mechanisms in expectancy challenge studies, and context‐related changes of expectancies. With increasing recognition of the substantial role played by alcohol expectancies in drinking, investigators have begun to develop and evaluate expectancy challenge procedures as a potentially promising new prevention strategy. The two major issues addressed in the symposium were whether expectancy challenges result in changes in expectancies that mediate intervention (outcome relations), and the influence of simulated bar environments (“bar labs,” in which challenges are usually done) on expectancies. The presentations were (1) An introduction, by Jack Darkes; (2) Investigating the utility of alcohol expectancy challenge with heavy drinking college students, by Mark D. Wood; (3) Effects of an expectancy challenge on implicit and explicit expectancies and drinking, by Reinout W. Wiers; (4) Effects of graphic feedback and simulated bar assessments on alcohol expectancies and consumption, by William R. Corbin; (5) Implicit alcohol associations and context, by Barry T Jones; and (6) A discussion by Kenneth J. Sher, who pointed out that it is important not only to study changes of expectancies in the paradigm of an expectancy challenge but also to consider the role of changing expectancies in natural development and in treatments not explicitly aimed at changing expectancies.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, v. 27, issue 2, p. 186-197