Cue Patterns and Alcohol Expectancies: How Slight Differences in Stimuli Can Measurably Change Cognition

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alcohol-related cognition, expectancies, cue patterns, cue pattern identification, memory processes, recall, experience level

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Expectancy theory states that environmental cues provide the information necessary for organisms to predict what is upcoming in the world. Because this information is vast, mechanisms of simplification such as identification of cue patterns are thought to be necessary. This study tested the influence of 2 different cue patterns on alcohol-related cognition. By simply changing the 1st word (milk vs. beer) on a study list comprising alcohol expectancy and grocery words, content differences in recalled words were demonstrated. Additionally, differences were a product of experience with alcohol. Findings were consistent with what would be predicted by cognitive concepts such as hybrid cuing and point to the need to take context and individual experience into account when studying memory processes.

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Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, v. 13, issue 1, p. 65-71