Graduation Year

2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Department

Psychology

Degree Granting Department

Psychology

Major Professor

Mark Goldman, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

David Drobes, Ph.D.

Committee Member

David Drobes, Ph.D.

Committee Member

James Epps, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Paul Greenbaum, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Geoff Potts, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kevin Thompson, Ph.D.

Keywords

alcohol expectancies, decision making, moderated mediation, regulation, self-control

Abstract

Research on self-control suggests that people do not do as well at self-control after they have already exerted self-control on something else. Despite the obvious importance of self-control in drinking behavior, few studies have examined alcohol consumption as an outcome measure in the context of self-control depletion and the potential role of cognitive processes in the self-control to drinking relationship remains largely unexplored. Although it is widely agreed that alcohol expectancies play an important role in one's decision to drink, no study has examined the role of expectancies in self-control's influence on drinking. This study addresses this important gap in the research by testing whether positive expectancies for alcohol influence the relationship between self-control depletion and placebo alcohol consumption in the laboratory. Results offer support for the resource model of self-control depletion in the context of drinking decisions; participants in the depleted self-control condition drank more placebo alcohol despite being reminded to be ready for an upcoming memory task. Hypotheses of conditional and indirect effects consistent with a process model of self-control were not supported. Using nonparametric analytic techniques, patterns in the data emerged suggestive of conditional indirect effects, though they appear to be very small in scale. Findings support the further exploration of the primary hypotheses, given the consideration of current limitations.

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