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Does alcohol catch the eye? Investigating young adults’ attention to alcohol consumption

Eveline Vincke (UGent) and Patrick Vyncke (UGent)
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Abstract
Many studies on young adults' motivations for drinking overlook the symbolic aspects of alcohol use. However, research indicates that young adults' alcohol consumption is also driven by signaling motivations. Although the interest of a receiver is a necessary prerequisite of a signal, no previous studies have verified whether drinking behavior indeed attracts young adults' attention. Therefore, we conducted two studies. A two-part eye-tracking study ( N1 = 135, N2 = 140) showed that both young men and young women pay special visual attention to male and female drinking behavior. Additionally, a recall experiment ( N = 321) confirmed that observed male and female drinking is better remembered than observed nonsignaling, functional behavior. Moreover, alcoholic beverages also receive special attention, as they were recalled better than other functional products, and also nonalcoholic drinks similar in color and shape. In summary, the experiments clearly showed that male and female drinking behavior can be used as a signal, as both behaviors clearly function as an attention-attracting cue. Additionally, as alcoholic beverages draw more attention than nonalcoholic drinks, this attention is clearly linked to the alcohol element of the drinking behavior.
Keywords
young adults, attention, alcohol consumption, eye tracking, recall, signaling

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MLA
Vincke, Eveline, and Patrick Vyncke. “Does Alcohol Catch the Eye? Investigating Young Adults’ Attention to Alcohol Consumption.” EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY, vol. 15, no. 3, Sage, 2017, doi:10.1177/1474704917730207.
APA
Vincke, E., & Vyncke, P. (2017). Does alcohol catch the eye? Investigating young adults’ attention to alcohol consumption. EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY, 15(3). https://doi.org/10.1177/1474704917730207
Chicago author-date
Vincke, Eveline, and Patrick Vyncke. 2017. “Does Alcohol Catch the Eye? Investigating Young Adults’ Attention to Alcohol Consumption.” EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY 15 (3). https://doi.org/10.1177/1474704917730207.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Vincke, Eveline, and Patrick Vyncke. 2017. “Does Alcohol Catch the Eye? Investigating Young Adults’ Attention to Alcohol Consumption.” EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY 15 (3). doi:10.1177/1474704917730207.
Vancouver
1.
Vincke E, Vyncke P. Does alcohol catch the eye? Investigating young adults’ attention to alcohol consumption. EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY. 2017;15(3).
IEEE
[1]
E. Vincke and P. Vyncke, “Does alcohol catch the eye? Investigating young adults’ attention to alcohol consumption,” EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY, vol. 15, no. 3, 2017.
@article{8537647,
  abstract     = {{Many studies on young adults' motivations for drinking overlook the symbolic aspects of alcohol use. However, research indicates that young adults' alcohol consumption is also driven by signaling motivations. Although the interest of a receiver is a necessary prerequisite of a signal, no previous studies have verified whether drinking behavior indeed attracts young adults' attention. Therefore, we conducted two studies. A two-part eye-tracking study ( N1 = 135, N2 = 140) showed that both young men and young women pay special visual attention to male and female drinking behavior. Additionally, a recall experiment ( N = 321) confirmed that observed male and female drinking is better remembered than observed nonsignaling, functional behavior. Moreover, alcoholic beverages also receive special attention, as they were recalled better than other functional products, and also nonalcoholic drinks similar in color and shape. In summary, the experiments clearly showed that male and female drinking behavior can be used as a signal, as both behaviors clearly function as an attention-attracting cue. Additionally, as alcoholic beverages draw more attention than nonalcoholic drinks, this attention is clearly linked to the alcohol element of the drinking behavior.}},
  author       = {{Vincke, Eveline and Vyncke, Patrick}},
  issn         = {{1474-7049}},
  journal      = {{EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY}},
  keywords     = {{young adults,attention,alcohol consumption,eye tracking,recall,signaling}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{3}},
  pages        = {{13}},
  publisher    = {{Sage}},
  title        = {{Does alcohol catch the eye? Investigating young adults’ attention to alcohol consumption}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1474704917730207}},
  volume       = {{15}},
  year         = {{2017}},
}

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