Memory Accessibility and Association of Alcohol Use and Its Positive Outcomes

Alan W. Stacy*, Barbara C. Leigh, Kenneth R. Weingardt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

138 Scopus citations


Theoretical predictions involving memory associations between alcohol use and its positive outcomes were examined. In 2 preliminary studies, the availability from memory of outcomes from drinking was investigated. In subsequent studies, a measurement paradigm was used that decreased the accessibility of the association between drinking behavior and positive outcomes so that individual differences in drinking frequency might predict the accessibility of memory responses. In a final study, this paradigm was refined further by manipulating various types of alcohol-related cues. The results converge on a class of theory of memory association in which repeated drinking experiences influence the accessibility of thoughts about alcohol use and its most normatively frequent outcomes. The increased association of this behavior and its outcomes in memory has important implications for the cognitive mediation of alcohol use and abuse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-282
Number of pages14
JournalExperimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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