Psychopharmacology

, Volume 203, Issue 1, pp 33–40

Latent structure of facets of alcohol reinforcement from a behavioral economic demand curve

  • James MacKillop
  • James G. Murphy
  • Jennifer W. Tidey
  • Christopher W. Kahler
  • Lara A. Ray
  • Warren K. Bickel
Original Investigation

Abstract

Rationale

Behavioral economic demand curves are quantitative representations of the relationship between consumption of a drug and its cost. Demand curves provide a multidimensional assessment of reinforcement, but the relationships among the various indices of reinforcement have been largely unstudied.

Objectives

The objective of the study is to use exploratory factor analysis to examine the underlying factor structure of the facets of alcohol reinforcement generated from an alcohol demand curve.

Materials and methods

Participants were 267 weekly drinkers [76% female; age M = 20.11 (SD = .1.51); drinks/week M = 14.33 (SD = 11.82)] who underwent a single group assessment session. Alcohol demand curves were generated via an alcohol purchase task, which assessed consumption at 14 levels of prices from $0 to $9. Five facets of demand were generated from the measure [intensity, elasticity, Pmax (maximum inelastic price), Omax (maximum alcohol expenditure), and breakpoint], using both observed and derived calculations. Principal components analysis was used to examine the latent structure among the variables.

Results

The results revealed a clear two-factor solution, which were interpreted as “Persistence,” reflecting sensitivity to escalating price, and “Amplitude,” reflecting the amount consumed and spent. The two factors were generally quantitatively distinct, although Omax loaded on both.

Conclusions

These findings suggest that alcohol reinforcement as measured via a demand curve is binary in nature, with separate dimensions of price-sensitivity and volumetric consumption. If supported, these findings may contribute theoretically and experimentally to a reinforcement-based approach to alcohol use and misuse.

Keywords

Alcohol Demand curve Reinforcement Exploratory factor analysis 

References

  1. Arnold JM, Roberts DC (1997) A critique of fixed and progressive ratio schedules used to examine the neural substrates of drug reinforcement. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 57:441–447PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bickel WK, Marsch LA, Carroll ME (2000) Deconstructing relative reinforcing efficacy and situating the measures of pharmacological reinforcement with behavioral economics: a theoretical proposal. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 153:44–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cohen J (1988) Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Lawrence Erlbaum AssociatesGoogle Scholar
  4. Collins RL, Parks GA, Marlatt GA (1985) Social determinants of alcohol consumption: the effects of social interaction and model status on the self-administration of alcohol. J Consult Clin Psychol 53:189–200PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Goldberg LR, Velicer WF (2006) Principles of exploratory factor analysis. In: S. Strack (ed.), Differentiating normal and abnormal personality: Second edition. New York, NY: Springer 209–237Google Scholar
  6. Greenwald MK, Hursh SR (2006) Behavioral economic analysis of opioid consumption in heroin-dependent individuals: effects of unit price and pre-session drug supply. Drug Alcohol Depend 85:35–48PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Griffiths RR, Brady JV, Bradford LD (1979) Predicting the abuse liability of drugs and animal drug self-administration procedures: psychomotor stimulants and hallucinogens. In: T. Thompson and P.B. Dews (eds.), Advances in behavioral pharmacology. Academic Press: New York 2:163–208Google Scholar
  8. Griffiths RR, Findley JD, Brady JV, Dolan-Gutcher K, Robinson WW (1975) Comparison of progressive-ratio performance maintained by cocaine, methylphenidate and secobarbital. Psychopharmacologia 43:81–83PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Grimes JA, Shull RL (2001) Response-independent milk delivery enhances persistence of pellet-reinforced lever pressing by rats. J Exp Anal Behav 76(2):179–194PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hursh SR, Raslear TG, Shurtleff D, Bauman R, Simmons L (1988) A cost-benefit analysis of demand for food. J Exp Anal Behav 50:419–440PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hursh SR, Galuska CM, Winger G, Woods JH (2005) The economics of drug abuse: a quantitative assessment of drug demand. Mol Interv 5:20–28PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Jacobs EA, Bickel WK (1999) Modeling drug consumption in the clinic using simulation procedures: demand for heroin and cigarettes in opioid-dependent outpatients. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol 7:412–426PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Johanson CE, Schuster CR (1975) A choice procedure for drug reinforcers: cocaine and methylphenidate in the rhesus monkey. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 193:676–688PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Johnson MW, Bickel WK (2002) Within-subject comparison of real and hypothetical money rewards in delay discounting. J Exp Anal Behav 77:129–146PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Johnson MW, Bickel WK (2006) Replacing relative reinforcing efficacy with behavioral economic demand curves. J Exp Anal Behav 85:73–93PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kirby KN (1997) Bidding on the future: evidence against normative discounting of delayed rewards. J Exp Psychol: General 126:54–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kirby KN, Maracovic NN (1995) Modeling myopic decisions: evidence for hyperbolic delay-discounting within subjects and amounts. Org Behav Human Decis Proc 64:22–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kivlahan DR, Marlatt GA, Fromme K, Coppel DB, Williams E (1990) Secondary prevention with college drinkers: evaluation of an alcohol skills training program. J Consult Clin Psychol 58:805–810PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ko MC, Terner J, Hursh S, Woods JH, Winger G (2002) Relative reinforcing effects of three opioids with different durations of action. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 301:698–704PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. MacKillop J, Murphy JG (2007) A behavioral economic measure of demand for alcohol predicts brief intervention outcomes. Drug Alcohol Depend 89:227–233PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. MacKillop J, Murphy JG, Ray LA, Eisenberg DT, Lisman SA, Lum JK, Wilson DS (2008) Further validation of a cigarette purchase task for assessing the relative reinforcing efficacy of nicotine in college smokers. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol 16:57–65PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Madden GJ, Bickel WK (1999) Abstinence and price effects on demand for cigarettes: a behavioral-economic analysis. Addiction 94:577–588PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Mattox AJ, Carroll ME (1996) Smoked heroin self-administration in rhesus monkeys. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 125:195–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Murphy JG, MacKillop J (2006) Relative reinforcing efficacy of alcohol among college student drinkers. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol 14:219–227PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Nevin JA (1995) Behavioral economics and behavioral momentum. J Exp Anal Behav 64(3):385–395PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Nevin JA, Grace RC (2000) Behavioral momentum and the law of effect. Behav Brain Sci 23:73–90PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Nevin JA, Tota ME et al (1990) Alternative reinforcement increases resistance to change: Pavlovian or operant contingencies? J Exp Anal Behav 53(3):359–379PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Richardson NR, Roberts DC (1996) Progressive ratio schedules in drug self-administration studies in rats: a method to evaluate reinforcing efficacy. J Neurosci Methods 66:1–11PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Shahan TA, Burke KA (2004) Ethanol-maintained responding of rats is more resistant to change in a context with added non-drug reinforcement. Behav Pharmacol 15(4):279–285PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Spiga R, Martinetti MP, Meisch RA, Cowan K, Hursh S (2005) Methadone and nicotine self-administration in humans: a behavioral economic analysis. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 178:223–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Tabachnick BG, Fidell LS (2001) Using Multivariate statistics, 4th edn. Allyn & Bacon, Allyn & BaconGoogle Scholar
  32. Wechsler H, Kuo M, Lee H, Dowdall GW (2000) Environmental correlates of underage alcohol use and related problems of college students. Am J Prev Med 19:24–29PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. White HR, Labouvie EW (1989) Towards the assessment of adolescent problem drinking. J Stud Alcohol 50:30–37PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Winger G, Galuska CM, Hursh SR, Woods JH (2006) Relative reinforcing effects of cocaine, remifentanil, and their combination in rhesus monkeys. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 318:223–229PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Winger G, Galuska CM, Hursh SR (2007) Modification of ethanol’s reinforcing effectiveness in rhesus monkeys by cocaine, flunitrazepam, or gamma-hydroxybutyrate. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 193:587–598CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • James MacKillop
    • 1
  • James G. Murphy
    • 2
  • Jennifer W. Tidey
    • 3
  • Christopher W. Kahler
    • 3
  • Lara A. Ray
    • 4
  • Warren K. Bickel
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MemphisMemphisUSA
  3. 3.Center for Alcohol and Addiction StudiesBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  5. 5.Center for Addiction Research, Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Arkansas for Medical SciencesLittle RockUSA

Personalised recommendations