Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 13, Issue 5, pp 409–421

Development of a Scale to measure outcome expectancy in alcoholics

  • Karen E. Solomon
  • Helen M. Annis

DOI: 10.1007/BF01173903

Cite this article as:
Solomon, K.E. & Annis, H.M. Cogn Ther Res (1989) 13: 409. doi:10.1007/BF01173903


Self-efficacy theory postulates that altering expectation of personal mastery is the major cognitive process involved in behavior change. Two classes of expectancy are discussed: (a) efficacy expectancy: the belief or confidence one has in being able to successfully perform a specific behavior, and (b) outcome expectancy: the belief one has about the consequences that will follow successful performance. Application of the theory to relapse prevention in alcoholism has addressed the role of efficacy expectancy but not outcome expectancy, the focus of this study. A 34-item scale was developed to measure outcome expectancy in alcoholics, with outcome expectancy defined as the consequences anticipated subsequent to a change in drinking behavior. The scale, consisting of both a strength and a valence component, was administered to 204 male patients admitted to two alcoholism treatment centers. Factor analysis yielded two subscales: the BENEFITS Scale (21 items), a measure of the advantages expected should a change in drinking behavior occur, and the COSTS Scale (13 items), a measure of disadvantages expected should a change in drinking behavior occur. Evidence for reliability and construct validity is presented. Future research and clinical uses of the scale are discussed.

Key words

outcome expectancy Bandura self-efficacy alcoholism 

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karen E. Solomon
    • 1
  • Helen M. Annis
    • 1
  1. 1.Addiction Research Foundation and University of TorontoCanada
  2. 2.Counselling and Development CentreBehavioural Sciences Building, York UniversityNorth YorkCanada

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