College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Differential Discriminative Stimulus Control of Nonalcoholic Beverage Consumption in Alcoholics and In Normal Drinkers

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-1979

Keywords

Alcoholism, Cues, Drinking Behavior, Internal-External Control

Publication Title

Journal of Abnormal Psychology

ISSN

0021-843X

Volume

88

Issue/No.

2

Abstract

Investigated the validity of applying the internality–externality model of obesity to conceptualize the determinants of drinking behavior. 30 alcoholics and 30 normal drinkers (male prison inmates) consumed either a liquid, a food, or nothing (no preload) and then received free access to preferred and nonpreferred nonalcoholic beverages under the guise of a taste-rating task. Alcoholics were predicted to consume proportionally more of their preferred beverage (external cue hypothesis) and to be less affected by the liquid preload manipulation (internal cue hypothesis) than normal drinkers. Both alcoholics and normal drinkers also were expected to consume less beverage after a food preload than after no preload. Results support the external and internal cue hypotheses but not the food preload prediction. Although differences apparently exist between the way internal and external discriminative stimuli govern eating behavior and drinking behavior, these results generally attest to the viability of applying such a model to conceptualize the determinants of nonalcoholic beverage consumption. This conceptualization has implications for the development of treatments that address the alcoholic's demonstrated vulnerability to external drink-related stimuli and lack of responsivity to internal stimuli.

DOI

10.1037//0021-843X.88.2.145