Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 389–402 | Cite as

Alcohol and drinking environment: Effects on affect and sensations, person perception, and perceived intoxication

  • Gerard J. Connors
  • Mark B. Sobell


Beverage administration and drinking environment were manipulated to study their individual and interactive contributions to the alcohol response. Male nonproblem drinkers (N = 108) consumed either placebo or one of two doses of alcohol, and drank either alone, in the presence of a sober or ostensibly intoxicated confederate, or in the presence of a nondrinking confederate who exhibited carefree, intoxicationlike behavior. Consumption of alcohol, as opposed to tonic, was found to induce a variety of physiological sensations and positive affects. Alcohol consumption also directly influenced levels of perceived intoxication and ratings of the intoxication level of the drinking partner. Drinking environment was found to be the critical determinant of subjects' perceptions of their drinking partner. The “intoxicated” accomplice, for example, was judged to be more friendly, admirable, and responsive, and less cold and reserved than the “sober” accomplice. The significance of these results for understanding drinking behavior and alcohol effects is discussed.

Key words

alcohol consumption drinking environment person perception perceived intoxication affect 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerard J. Connors
    • 1
  • Mark B. Sobell
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of Texas Medical SchoolHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Addiction Research FoundationUniversity of TorontoCanada

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