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The automatic nature of habitual goal-state activation in substance use: implications from a dyslexic population

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Thomas Wilcockson
  • Emmanuel Pothos
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>05/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Substance Use
Issue number3
Number of pages5
Pages (from-to)244-248
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date11/02/15
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Habitual goal-state activation may automatically elicit effects upon cognition, motivation and emotion, through influence upon processes operating outside of awareness. For example, alcohol craving may be triggered by environmental cues. This experiment considered whether priming habitual goal-states would have similar effects for adult dyslexics and non-dyslexic controls. Dyslexia may be associated with automatization deficits, which may affect habitual goal-state response. Dyslexics were compared to non-dyslexics on their reported alcohol cravings, following priming of one of two habitual goal-state conditions; studying or socializing. Within some of the exploratory analyses, a difference between dyslexics and non-dyslexics was demonstrated. However, the difference was not in the anticipated direction, as it was the dyslexics who were more affected by the primes. This suggests that dyslexics may be affected by primes differently to non-dyslexics. This research potentially helps understand the role that habitual goal-states play within substance use.