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October 2021

Alcohol and ambience: social and environmental determinants of intake and mood

Author(s): Lindfors, B., Dahla, E., Toivola, H.

Journal/Book: Alcohol Alcohol. 1987; Suppl: 385-8.

Abstract: An experiment was conducted in which 66 male subjects were given access to alcohol (20% vol.) and fruit juice to be mixed and tasted ad lib. A factorial design included social vs. solitary drinking conditions, laboratory vs. informal setting, and variable exposure to music. The amount of ethanol consumed (g/kg body weight) was used as an unobtrusive measure of preferred intake. The reciprocal relationship between mood and consumption was analyzed by LISREL. While euphoria has usually been perceived as a consequence of drinking, the only plausible fit to a LISREL model was obtained by assuming that the disposition to drink would be increased by positive mood changes occurring during the drinking session. An analogy between social drinking and adjunctive behaviour was supported, as alcohol consumption was directly affected by time-dependent environmental factors such as company and music. Since the presence of company also stimulated positive mood and alleviated boredom, consumption was precipitated by company indirectly as well as directly. These results emphasize the importance of direct as well as indirect environmental influences on spontaneous alcohol intake during social drinking.

Keyword(s): Adult. Affect. Alcohol Drinking/psychology. Boredom. Human. Male. Social Environment. Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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