Date of Award

5-2006

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Major Professor

Michael C. Rush

Committee Members

Lawrence R. James, Michael D. McIntyre, Michael R. Nash

Abstract

This dissertation describes the development and initial validation of an indirect measure of addiction proneness. This new measurement system is based on the concept of differential framing, that is, the idea that individuals with different personalities tend to frame the same situations and stimuli in qualitatively different ways. This new measure (called the Conditional Reasoning Test of Addiction Proneness, or CRT-AP) consisted of 23 items that were designed to assess framing proclivities associated with addiction proneness. These items used Conditional Reasoning methodology to assess the extent to which implicit biases are used to justify the perpetuation of chemical dependency. Data were collected and analyzed on two different samples: individuals with a known history of chemical dependency, and individuals whose history of addiction was unknown. Results indicated that these two groups of individuals could be distinguished based upon their scores on the CRT-AP. In addition, this measure displayed appropriate levels of internal consistency and construct validity, particularly given its early stage of development. Overall, it appears that Conditional Reasoning represents a viable approach to the measurement of implicit cognitions associated with addiction proneness. Potential limitations of the current study and directions for future research are discussed.

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