Effect of a Smartphone-delivered Intervention Using Imagery and Self-control Training on Alcohol Consumption and Binge Drinking: an Experimental Study
M.S. Hagger1, G.G. Wong1
1Curtin University, School of Psychology and Speech Pathology, Health Psychology and Behavioural Medicine Research Group, Perth, Australia
Background. Excessive alcohol consumption is linked to maladaptive outcomes. This experiment examined the effectiveness of mental simulation and self-control training in reducing alcohol consumption. Method. Undergraduates (N=78) were randomised to one of 4 conditions in a 2(mental simulation: mental simulation vs. irrelevant imagery) x 2(self-control training: challenging vs. easy Stroop task) experimental design. For the mental simulation manipulation, participants received either a mental simulation task requiring visualisation of steps required to reduce alcohol intake or an irrelevant imagery task. For the self-control training manipulation, participants completed either incongruent (challenging) or incongruent (easy) Stroop-colour naming tasks twice daily on their smartphone. Findings. Self-control training predicted alcohol consumption (partial eta squared=.022) but not mental simulation. No interaction effect for the manipulations on alcohol consumption was found. Discussion. Results support an effect of self-control training on alcohol consumption, but not the hypothesis that training is more effective for individuals whose motivation is enhanced through mental simulation.