Journal Article


Implicit alcohol attitudes predict drinking behavior over and above intentions and willingness in young adults but willingness is more important in adolescents: implications for the Prototype Willingness Model

Abstract

Objectives: Dual process models, such as the Prototype Willingness Model (PWM), propose to account for both intentional and reactive drinking behaviour. Current methods of measuring constructs in the PWM rely on self-report, thus require a level of conscious deliberation. Implicit measures of attitudes may overcome this limitation and contribute to our understanding of how prototypes and willingness influence alcohol consumption in young people. This study aimed to explore whether implicit alcohol attitudes were related to PWM constructs and if they would add to the prediction of risky drinking. Design: The study involved a cross-sectional design. The sample included 501 participants from the United Kingdom (Mean age 18.92; range 11-51; 63% female); 230 school pupils and 271 university students. Methods: Participants completed explicit measures of alcohol prototype perceptions, willingness, drunkenness, harms, and intentions. They also completed an implicit measure of alcohol attitudes, using the Implicit Association Test. Results: Implicit alcohol attitudes were only weakly related to the explicit measures. When looking at the whole sample, implicit alcohol attitudes did not add to the prediction of willingness over and above prototype perceptions. However, for university students implicit attitudes added to the prediction of behaviour, over and above intentions and willingness. For school pupils, willingness was a stronger predictor of behaviour than intentions or implicit attitudes. Conclusions: Adding implicit measures to the PWM may contribute to our understanding of the development of alcohol behaviours in young people. Further research could explore how implicit attitudes develop alongside the shift from reactive to planned behaviour.

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Authors

Davies, Emma L.
Paltoglou, Aspasia
Foxcroft, David

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences\Department of Psychology, Social Work and Public Health

Dates

Year of publication: 2016
Date of RADAR deposit: 2016-11-22


Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License


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