Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)

Degree Level



Psychological Science


Lindsay Ham

Committee Member

William Levine

Second Committee Member

Jennifer Veilleux


Alcohol, Attentional Bias, Craving, Liking


The purpose of the present study was to better understand alcohol use problems by examining the effect of alcohol liking on alcohol attentional bias among non-dependent drinkers. An adapted model of Robinson and Berridge’s (1993) incentive-sensitization theory of addiction was proposed which theorized that manipulation of alcohol liking would produce alcohol attentional bias (assessed via visual probe task) among non-dependent drinkers. To test this adapted model, alcohol liking was manipulated and the effect on alcohol attentional bias was examined. Participants were 53 legal-age, college drinkers (Mage = 23.49; 32.1% female; 67.9% White Non-Hispanic). Participants completed measures of alcohol drink preference, eating attitudes, alcohol use behaviors, and inattention / hyperactivity symptoms. Liking for alcohol was manipulated using two beer tasting conditions in a repeated-measures design [cold beer (“like” condition) versus warm beer (“dislike” condition)]. Two cracker tasting conditions were also administered to obscure the true purpose of the study. Following manipulation of liking, participants completed alcohol liking and alcohol craving ratings as well as a visual probe task to assess alcohol attentional bias. Findings revealed effective manipulation of alcohol liking; however, contrary to the proposed hypotheses, alcohol attentional bias was not significantly correlated with either the warm or cold beer conditions. Also, there were no significant differences in the degree of alcohol attentional bias between warm and cold beer conditions. Follow up analyses showed that typical alcohol use behavior moderated the association between the liking rating and alcohol attentional bias following cold beer consumption; however, interpretation of the significant interaction was limited due to low statistical power to test moderation. Taken together, the current findings provide a unique examination of the effect of alcohol liking manipulation on alcohol attentional bias among non-dependent drinkers. Further research investigating the relationship between manipulation of alcohol liking and alcohol attentional bias appears warranted given this initial examination.