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Title: An experimental manipulation of attentional bias to alcohol related stimuli : an eye tracking study
Author: Mallon, Peadar
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2014
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A Comparison of Measures of Attentional Bias to Alcohol in Social Drinkers: A Systematic Review. Research focusing on implicit cognitive processes, over the past two decades, has highlighted the role of Attentional Bias (AB) in addiction. No review has systematically addressed the question of how consistently AB is found in the social drinking population nor have they compared the use of the main paradigms in social drinkers. This review aimed to further understanding of the development of addiction and provide future directions for research. 15 studies were identified for inclusion in this review. Results indicated that AB to alcohol was inconsistently found and that methodological issues within and between paradigms may contribute to this. These findings raise questions with regards the robustness of conclusions which are drawn from previous studies using social drinkers as I comparison groups. Methodological considerations have been identified and attempts made to address these and provide direction for future research in this area. An experimental manipulation of Attentional Bias (AB) to alcohol related stimuli: An Eye Tracking (ET) Study. The study used ET technology and a Visual Probe Task (VPT) to measure the effects of an attentional training exercise on AB towards alcohol and subjective levels of craving. The training exercise used a modified version of the VPT with 45 heavy social drinkers were randomly allocated to one of three groups; Alcohol-Attend (attention trained to alcohol stimuli), Alcohol-Avoid (attention trained away from alcohol stimuli), and Control (attention not manipulated). AB and subjective levels of craving were recorded pre- and post-training exercise. The Attend-Alcohol group had significantly increased; fixations times to alcohol stimuli, and increased craving. Findings highlight the benefits of more technologically advanced and direct measures of AB. They support future research in a clinical population to examine the potential of AB training exercises in problem drinkers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available