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Attempts to Influence the Value of Alcohol by Manipulating Social Influence and Context

Yates, J, Rose, AK and Jones, A (2023) Attempts to Influence the Value of Alcohol by Manipulating Social Influence and Context. Substance Use & Misuse. ISSN 1082-6084

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Background: Recent cognitive neuroscience models of value-based decision-making suggest value-based choices for alcohol are sensitive to various inputs, such as context and social influence. In two online experiments, we tested whether manipulating these inputs influenced proxies for alcohol value.
Experiment 1: 157 social drinkers were presented with 4 hypothetical scenarios (drinking alone, with friends who are also drinking, with friends but trying to “cut-down” for health reasons, with friends who aren’t drinking) in a within-subjects design, and completed the Brief Assessment of Alcohol Demand after each as a measure of value. Value for alcohol (number of drinks purchased) was greatest when drinking with friends who were also drinking compared to drinking alone (d=0.95), friends not drinking (d=1.49) and friends drinking/health related (d=1.59). Value for alcohol was also greater when drinking alone compared to with friends who were not drinking (d=0.55), and also with friends drinking/health related (d=0.62).
Experiment 2: 241 participants were randomly allocated to see one of four categories of images in a 2 (context: bar vs house) x 2 (social influence: enjoy vs not enjoy) design, before completing a Concurrent Choice Task for alcohol and Visual Analog Scales. There were no significant effects found on either task, both taken as proxies for value.
Conclusion: There was inconclusive evidence that the value for alcohol could be manipulated by social context. This could be explained by greater saliency of the manipulation in asking participants to imagine themselves in
a hypothetical situation as opposed to presenting images depicting drinking scenarios.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1117 Public Health and Health Services; 1701 Psychology; Substance Abuse
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Psychology (from Sep 2019)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 09 May 2023 11:31
Last Modified: 09 May 2023 11:31
DOI or ID number: 10.1080/10826084.2023.2205532
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/19476
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