Effect of evaluative conditioning on implicit and explicit attitudes toward alcohol and intentions to drink

  • O. Zerhouni
  • L. Bègue
  • F. Comiran
  • R. Wiers


Since implicit attitudes are highly predictive of alcohol consumption, a promising mechanism to bolster the effectiveness of evaluative conditioning would be affect misattribution. In line with dual process models of EC, we hypothesized that manipulating the learning context to bolster affect misattribution should strengthen EC effects on implicit attitudes toward alcohol, while encouraging propositional processing of CS-US pairs should strengthen EC effects on explicit attitudes. In our study (n=114) we manipulated whether CS-US pairs were presented simultaneously or sequentially. Recollective memory was estimated with a process dissociation procedure. Both implicit and explicit attitudes were assessed immediately after the procedure. Behavioral intentions were measured after and one week after the protocol. We found that EC with sequential presentation had a stronger impact on implicit and explicit measures and on purchase intentions immediately after the procedure and one week after. We then conducted a small-scale meta-analysis including all studies EC on alcohol attitudes and drinking (k=4; n=420). The present study provides new and meta-analytic evidence that (i) EC is an effective way to change implicit attitudes toward alcohol and (ii) evidence that EC is better described by propositional rather than dual process accounts.