Using crowdsourcing to examine behavioral economic measures of alcohol value and proportionate alcohol reinforcement

Vanessa Morris, Michael Amlung, Brent A. Kaplan, Derek D. Reed, Tashia Petker, James MacKillop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Online crowdsourcing websites such as Amazon's Mechanical Turk (MTurk) are increasingly being used in addictions research. However, there is a relative paucity of such research examining the validity of administering behavioral economic alcohol-related measures, via an online crowdsourcing platform. This study sought to validate an alcohol purchase task (APT) for assessing demand and a questionnaire measure of proportionate alcohol reinforcement, using an online sample of participants recruited via MTurk. Participants (N = 865, 59% female) were recruited via MTurk to complete the APT, proportionate alcohol reinforcement questionnaire, Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), and demographics. Responses on the APT were highly systematic (<3% nonsystematic data) and conformed to prototypical demand curves. Correlation analyses revealed significant associations among AUDIT total scores with a majority of the alcohol demand indices (r values .08 -53, p values < .05) as well as proportionate alcohol reinforcement, r = .43, p < .001. Regression analyses controlling for relevant covariates indicated that intensity, BP, Omax, elasticity, and reinforcement ratio predicted significant variance in AUDIT scores. This study further supports the use of online crowdsourcing websites for investigating behavioral economic determinants of alcohol misuse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314-321
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by NIH Grants AA016936 and AA024930. Michael Amlung's contributions were partially supported by the Peter Boris Centre for Addictions Research. James MacKillop is the holder of the Peter Boris Chair in Addictions Research, which partially supported his role. Funding sources had no role other than financial support. All authors contributed substantively to this article and have read and approved the final version. The authors thank John Acker, Lauren VanderBroek Stice, and Lana Vedelago for their contributions to data collection and initial data processing. The data and ideas included in this article have not been previously published or presented in any other form or venue.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Psychological Association.

Keywords

  • Alcohol
  • Behavioral economics
  • Demand
  • Online crowdsourcing
  • Relative reinforcement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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