Reactivity to Alcohol Cues: Isolating the Role of Perceived Availability.
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Perceived availability of a substance has been proposed to play a role in cue reactivity by both traditional classical conditioning models and S. T. Tiffany's (1990) cognitive processing model (CPM) of substance use. This study investigated the role of availability information on alcohol cue reactivity. Subjects were 134 heavy drinkers in a 2 x 2 between-subjects design, crossing cues (alcohol vs. neutral) and availability information (availability vs. unavailability). The results indicated significant main effects for cue type, with alcohol cues eliciting greater reactivity on multiple measures, and an interaction effect on the Alcohol Urge Questionnaire (M. J. Bohn, D. D. Krahn, & B. B. Staehler, 1995), such that exposure to alcohol cues in conjunction with unavailability information elicited a greater urge. This was largely a result of changes in self-reported craving and was interpreted as consistent with the CPM. Alternative methodologies and limitations are discussed.
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