Monday, October 12, 2009

Catching the attention of college binge drinkers

Binge drinking in college is a big problem nowadays in both the U.S. and the U.K. Studies have shown that at least 40-45% of college students engage in heavy drinking each year, with between 12-31% qualifying for a clinical diagnosis of alchol abuse and 6% qualifying for a diagnosis of alcohol dependence. A team of researchers from Texas State University looked into the role of attentional bias - how much attention people pay to things - in people's drinking habits. 26 college students were asked about their alcohol consumption and shown pictures of household objects and alcohol-related scenes. The more people drank the more attention they gave to the alcohol images. One of the practical implications of this research is that it may be productive to restrict the number of alcohol posters and adverts on campus.

Ceballos, Natalie A., Komogortsev, Oleg V. and Turner, G. Marc - Ocular imaging of attentional bias among college students: automatic and controlled processing of alcohol-related scenes Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs September 2009, 70(5), 652-659

No comments: