College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-1986

Keywords

Adult, Advertising as Topic, Alcohol Drinking, Beer, Television

Publication Title

Journal of Studies on Alcohol

ISSN

0096-882X

Volume

47

Issue/No.

4

Abstract

The drinking behavior of 96 male normal drinking college students was assessed after they viewed a videotape of a popular prime-time television program complete with advertisements. Different versions of the videotape were used to evaluate the effects of a television program with and without alcohol scenes as crossed with the effects of three different types of advertisements (i.e., beer, nonalcoholic beverages and food). After viewing the videotape, the subjects, who were led to believe that they were participating in two separate and unrelated sets of experimental procedures, were asked to perform a taste rating of light beers, which actually provided an unobtrusive measure of their alcohol consumption. The results provided no support for the widely held assumption that drinking scenes in television programs or televised advertisements for alcoholic beverages precipitate increased drinking by viewers. This finding, however, must be considered in the context of the laboratory setting of the study, and thus may not generalize to real-life television viewing. Further research in this area is clearly needed, including an evaluation of the effects of television program content and advertisements on other populations (e.g., alcohol abusers).

Peer Reviewed

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