An Examination of the Relative Associations of Prototype Favorability, Similarity, and Their Interaction With Alcohol and Alcohol-Related Risky Sexual Cognitions and Behavior

Dana Michelle Litt, Melissa Ardelle Lewis, Anne M. Fairlie, Maya K. Head-Corliss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Prototypes are defined as the image a person holds of the typical person who engages in risk behavior and are comprised of favorability toward the prototype and similarity to the prototype. Despite both being posited as important prototype dimensions, the findings regarding their predictive utility are mixed, and most research has focused on alcohol use and not other related risk behaviors. Thus, the present study examined whether both prototype dimensions (prototype favorability, prototype similarity) as well as their interaction predicted alcohol and alcohol-related sexual cognitions and behavior. Results from 294 emerging adults indicated that prototype similarity (but not prototype favorability or their interaction) predicted both behavioral and cognitive outcomes. Results suggest that researchers utilizing prototypes should be mindful of which prototype dimensions they include in their guiding theory and subsequent clinical applications.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEmerging Adulthood
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2018



  • alcohol
  • prototypes
  • risky sexual behavior

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