University Of Tasmania
whole_PullenDiana1998_thesis.pdf (5.24 MB)

The effects of alcohol consumption and expectancy on anxiety in men and women

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posted on 2023-05-27, 17:45 authored by Pullen, DJ
Literature review. Experimental research investigating the effects of alcohol consumption on anxiety has been equivocal, and alcohol consumption has been found to increase and decrease anxiety and also to have no effect on anxiety. These results are further complicated by evidence of significant sex differences in the effects of alcohol expectancy on anxiety. In this review, several theoretical models of the effects of alcohol are evaluated for their utility in explaining the relationship between alcohol and anxiety. Then, research utilising the balanced placebo design to investigate the relationship between alcohol and anxiety is reviewed, and the influence of pharmacological mechanisms, alcohol expectancy, and sex differences discussed. Finally, issues involved in defining and measuring anxiety are considered, and methodological limitations are presented as partially explaining the perplexing results in the area. Empirical study. The present study was conducted to determine the influence of pharmacological and expectancy mechanisms on simple reaction time and self report anxiety of men and women in a task designed to provoke performance anxiety. Ten male and ten female social drinkers participated in a 2 (sex) x 2 (alcohol expectancy) x 2 (beverage content) factorial balanced placebo study. The between subjects design generally used in balanced placebo research was replaced by a within subjects design, involving each participant completing four experimental sessions. Although results showed no significant effect of alcohol consumption, alcohol expectancy, or sex on self report anxiety, a number of trends were evident for self report anxiety. Firstly there was a trend suggesting that overall women were more anxious than men. Secondly an interaction between pre/post anxiety and instructional manipulation for both male and female anxiety responses approached significance. People who were told that they were receiving alcohol were more anxious following drink consumption than before drink consumption regardless of whether there was any alcohol in their beverage or not. No significant main effects for alcohol consumption, expectancy or sex were seen for reaction times to hits or false alarms, or to numbers of hits and misses.


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Copyright 1998 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (M.Psych.)--University of Tasmania, 1998.

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