The influence of alcohol on risk-taking may be through both pharmacological action and individual expectancies. A recent meta-analysis highlighted the need for evidence about the precise role of alcohol expectations on individuals’ gambling behavior while under the influence of alcohol and a need to understand what specific gambling behaviors are influenced. This laboratory study investigated the effects of alcohol consumption and alcohol expectancies on gambling behavior in a sample of young adult men. Thirty-nine participants were randomly assigned to one of three experimental conditions in which they consumed alcohol, alcohol-placebo, or no-alcohol beverages and then played a computerized roulette game. The roulette game provided each participant with the same pattern of wins and losses and recorded gambling behavior including wagers made, number of spins, and final dollar amount remaining. Significant main effects were found between conditions on total number of spins with the alcohol and alcohol-placebo groups gambling significantly more than the no-alcohol group. The alcohol and alcohol-placebo groups were not statistically different. These findings support that individuals’ expectations play an important role in understanding the effects of alcohol consumption on gambling; this effect may be primarily associated with persistence in wagering.
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Lipinski, D., Horn, T., Whelan, J. et al. Contrasting the Effects of Alcohol and Alcohol Expectancies on Gambling Behavior. J Gambl Stud 39, 1651–1660 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-023-10222-1