Research Opportunity: RAD/iCAD – Alcohol-related Cognition (retraining and assessment)

Con­tact Name: Melissa Gasser

Con­tact Email: mlgasser[at]

Depart­ment: Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences


Project RAD is studying how implicit associations about alcohol affect alcohol use and whether these implicit associations can be retrained. Data collection for the first of two studies, looking at the implicit alcohol associations most strongly connected to heavy drinking, was completed in spring 2011. The second study, attempting to retrain those associations, launched in fall 2011. The pilot version of this study was completed in Spring 2012 and the modified full-scale version began in Fall 2012.

Project iCAD: The overarching objective of the project is to improve the prediction of hazardous in college students. This first of three studies, launched in Fall 2013, will take place online over the course of 2 years at 3 month intervals and include approximately 500 first and second year underclassmen. Dual process models posit that both explicit (slow, reflective) cognitive processes and implicit (fast, reflexive) cognitive processes contribute to addictive behaviors. However, alcohol research has emphasized explicit processes, which may leave implicit processes unaccounted for which may become increasingly important as addictive behaviors become established.

Research assistants will play an important primary role in running the remaining participants in the lab, conducting data analysis on the large data sets from Project RAD and will be trained in the use of computer software to design and deliver IATs (Implicit Association Tests; see Project Implicit’s website for examples) and other questionnaires. Research assistants may also assist in scheduling and conduct literature searches on relevant research topics, as well as assisting in manuscript and poster preparation as needed.


2 or more credits for two consecutive quarters due to the training involved in working with our team

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