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Kuitunen-Paul, Sowren; Obst, Elisabeth; Schmidt, Ruth; Sommer, Christian; Kuitunen, Paula T.; Wittchen, Hans-Ulrich and Zimmermann, Ulrich S. (2019): Effects of alcohol intoxication on self-reported drinking patterns, expectancies, motives and personality: a randomized controlled experimental study. In: Addiction Biology, Vol. 24, No. 3: pp. 522-530

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Abstract

Alcohol intoxication may affect self-reports of alcohol use and related constructs, such as impulsivity and dependence symptoms. Improved knowledge about potential systematic reporting biases induced by alcohol, e.g. through disinhibition, may be relevant for the assessment of intoxicated individuals both in clinical routine and research. We therefore randomly assigned 54 socially drinking males aged 18 to 19 without lifetime diagnosis of DSM-IV alcohol dependence to one of two experimental arms: either placebo infusion at day 1 and alcohol infusion at day 2, or vice versa. The lab-based intravenous alcohol infusion produced a constant blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent. On each day, participants completed the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, as well as other questionnaires on alcohol expectancies, drinking motives and substance use-related temperament traits. We found that alcohol significantly increased self-reported expectancies (tension reduction) and motives (conformity;eta(2) = .16-.23), but we observed no effect of sequence, i.e. alcohol first versus placebo first (P-corr >= .118). High baseline alcohol expectancies did not moderate alcohol effects (P-corr >= .462). We conclude that moderate alcohol intoxication might not generally affect the reliability of self-reported alcohol use, alcohol use problems and psychological concepts related to drinking behavior in young males without alcohol dependence. Future studies could examine larger, less selective and clinical samples for possible alcohol effects on self-report measures related to alcohol consumption.

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