College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Social Influences on Human Ethanol Consumption in an Analog Situation

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1978

Keywords

Adolescent, Alcohol Drinking, Ethanol, Research Design, Self-Assessment

Publication Title

Addictive Behaviors

ISSN

0306-4603

Volume

3

Issue/No.

3-4

Abstract

Thirty-six male college students, all normal drinkers, were randomly assigned to six experimental conditions in a 3 x 2 completely randomized factorial design which examined the influence of various social conditions on subjects' alcohol consumption. The three social conditions, as determined by the presence or absence of an accomplice, were co-action, audience facilitation, or individual performance. The second factor was whether the accomplice was either a “heavy” or “light” consumer of wine during a taste test analogue task. Subjects who were exposed to a heavy consumptive accomplice in the co-action social condition drank significantly (P < 0.05) more wine than all other subjects, but the other groups did not differ significantly from one another. Thus, imitation alone cannot account for the differences in alcohol consumption observed in previous research of this type. A more parsimonious interpretation of the findings is that increased consumption resulted from co-action, although an alternative explanation in terms of competitive drinking cannot be excluded.

DOI

10.1016/0306-4603(78)90026-6