Wake Forest Alcohol Imagery Set: Development and Validation of a Large Standardized Alcohol Imagery Dataset

Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2019 Dec;43(12):2559-2567. doi: 10.1111/acer.14214. Epub 2019 Nov 1.


Background: The study of alcohol use frequency utilizes alcohol-related cue imagery. Although a number of alcohol-image databases currently exist, they have several limitations: Many are not publicly available, some use stock images or clip art rather than real photographs, several eliminate any photographs displaying brand information, and predominantly they contain relatively few images. The aim of this project was to develop a large, open-access database of alcohol-related cue images, containing photographs with and without brand information, taken in real-world environments, with images in a variety of orientations and dimensions.

Methods: The study collected 1,650 images voluntarily from the larger community, to capture photographs with a wide range of content, environments, and relation to alcohol. All images were then rated on scales of valence, arousal, and relation to alcohol by 1,008 Amazon Mechanical Turk workers, using classical emotion validation methods based on the International Affective Picture System (IAPS). Survey respondents were screened with the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), and Cronbach's alpha scores were calculated to determine the interrater reliability of scores across the whole sample, and within low-risk, moderate-risk, and high-risk drinkers for each rating domain. Univariate ANOVAs were run to determine differences in ratings across drinking groups.

Results: All Cronbach's alpha scores indicated high interrater reliability within the whole sample, and across drinking severity groups. Tukey's HSD post hoc results indicated greater arousal and affect in response to image viewing in moderate- and high-risk drinkers, and higher relation-to-alcohol ratings in low-risk drinkers. All images had categorization tags assigned by members of the study team.

Conclusions: The established imagery set includes 1,650 alcohol-related images, rated on scales of valence, arousal, and relation to alcohol, and categorized by type of alcohol depicted. The imagery database will be available for open-access download and use through Google Photos.

Keywords: Alcohol; Cue; Image; Picture; Validation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology*
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Cues
  • Databases, Factual*
  • Humans
  • Photic Stimulation / methods*
  • Photography / standards*
  • Reproducibility of Results