New Study Debunks Previous Theory as to Why We Drink
Explicit cognitions are described as thoughts that can be consciously obtained and are considered intentional. The person is in absolute control of their actions. The opposite reaction, implicit cognitions, can be defined as an action based on memory association or a behavior process that is done in an unconscious manner.
A differenent test was used to determine which thought process, explicit or implicit, led the students to drink. While it is a conscious choice to go to the bar to drink, explicit, the number of times the student ordered a drink might be considered implicit.
The simulations put students in a very natural drinking environment that included a 45 minute time period with five to seven of their friends and two separate 30 minute sessions where the students were placed with other students of the same sex. After the simulations, the students were asked to fill out a questionnaire to determine which explicit cognitions and even word associations led them to patterns of implicit thoughts.
The results implied that the students' thoughts encouraged a higher level of alcohol consumption. For example, the excitement of seeing good friends or meeting someone for the first time led to a higher level of consumption. The more positive the experience, the more alcohol was consumed. The study showed that in every environment of the simulations, students drank in a more explicit fashion.