Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)

Degree Level



Psychological Science


Lindsay Ham

Committee Member

Jennifer Veilleux

Second Committee Member

Connie Lamm


Alcohol, Cognition, Impulsivity, Negative affect


This project expanded on the Acquired Preparedness Model of Risk (APMR) by examining how Negative Urgency (NU), the tendency to act rashly in negative emotional states, affects emotion-based changes in alcohol cognitions to produce risk for alcohol use. The APMR prioritizes the role of outcome expectancies as the means through which traits such as NU, convey alcohol use risk. However, this model treats these cognitions as static and often fails to assess their valence; further, alcohol-cognitions fluctuate in response to negative emotions and may become more salient during these states. Therefore, this study examined: 1) how NU impacts negative emotion-based, state-level changes in alcohol outcome expectancies and their valuations and 2) how these changes predicted alcohol consumption in a restricted ad-libitum taste teste paradigm. Using a quasi-experimental, mixed-factor design, adults 21 or older (N = 84) who met cutoffs for “high” or “low” NU groups underwent a negative mood induction with pre- and post-measures of alcohol-related cognitions. Immediately following, participants completed an ad-libitum alcohol taste-test. It was hypothesized that individuals high (vs. low) in NU, post-mood induction, would demonstrate greater increases of reported positive alcohol expectancies and positive/negative alcohol valuations. Additionally, it was hypothesized that high NU individuals would consume more alcohol and that such consumption would be mediated by emotion-based increases in alcohol cognitions. Contrary to hypotheses, higher levels of NU did not produce greater increases in alcohol cognitions, despite general increases due to negative emotional state. NU was also unassociated with alcohol consumption and emotion-based changes in alcohol cognitions did not mediate NU’s connection to alcohol consumption. Such findings broadly suggest lower level processes (e.g., implicit alcohol cognitions, attentional biases) convey NU’s risk for alcohol use at a state-level, while explicit alcohol cognitions convey such risk over time.