Alcohol's effects on physiological arousal and self-reported affect and sensations

Janice B. McCollam, Thomas G. Burish, Stephen A. Maisto, Mark B. Sobell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


60 male normal drinkers (undergraduates) were instructed that they would receive an alcoholic, nonalcoholic, or an unidentified beverage that would be alcoholic or nonalcoholic. Half the Ss in each instruction group consumed an alcoholic beverage; the other half consumed a non-alcoholic beverage. Self-reports of affect (Mood Adjective Check List, Multiple Affect Adjective Check List) and bodily sensations and measures of pulse rate and skin conductance were obtained at baseline and during the ascending and descending phases of the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) function. Analysis of covariance showed that Ss who consumed alcohol reported higher levels of positive affects and sensations and lower levels of depression than Ss who did not consume alcohol. The instructional manipulation had a limited effect. Self-reports of affect and sensations were most affected by type of beverage consumed; sensations were also rated higher during the ascending than during the descending phase of the BAC. Physiological measures were influenced by instructions and beverage. (40 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-233
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of abnormal psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1980
Externally publishedYes


  • expectation of drinking alcoholic vs nonalcoholic vs unidentified type of beverage & actual beverage consumed, physiological arousal & self reported affect & sensations, male college students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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