Date of Award

Summer 8-16-2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dominic J. Parrott

Second Advisor

Erin B. McClure Tone

Third Advisor

Roger Bakeman

Abstract

This study provided the first direct test of the cognitive underpinnings of the attention-allocation model and attempted to replicate and extend past behavioral findings for this model as an explanation for alcohol-related aggression. Men were randomly assigned to a beverage (Alcohol, No-Alcohol Control) and a distraction (Moderate Distraction, No Distraction) condition. All men were provoked by a male confederate and completed a dot probe task and a laboratory aggression task without distraction or while presented with a moderate distraction task. Results indicated that intoxicated men whose attention was distracted displayed significantly lower levels of aggression bias and enacted significantly less physical aggression than intoxicated men whose attention was not distracted. However, aggression bias did not account for the lower levels of alcohol-related aggression in the distraction, relative to the no-distraction, condition. Discussion focused on how these data inform intervention programming for alcohol-related aggression.

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