Date of Award

Spring 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Laura Knouse


The dual process theory proposes two forms of cognitive processing: implicit and explicit. The goal of the current study is to further investigate the dual process model of risky drinking, exploring the roles of executive functioning, implicit attitudes, and stress. 98 students from the University of Richmond participated in this study. After reading a stressful vignette, significant changes in Implicit Association Test (IAT) scores indicated that stress does heighten implicit “approach” associations for alcohol. Interestingly, when separated into low and high self-restraint groups, only participants with high self-restraint were significantly affected by the vignette. After testing for interaction effects, our study partially supported the dual process theory, indicating that self-restraint and implicit alcohol approach associations predict unique variance in heavy weekend drinking. Executive functioning—specifically self-restraint—most strongly predicted risky drinking across all measures.

Included in

Psychology Commons