Effects of alcohol and alcohol expectancy on perceptions of opposite-sex facial attractiveness in university students

Neave, Nick, Tsang, Carmen and Heather, Nick (2008) Effects of alcohol and alcohol expectancy on perceptions of opposite-sex facial attractiveness in university students. Addiction Research & Theory, 16 (4). pp. 1606-6359. ISSN 1606-6359

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/16066350801900222

Abstract

Previous research has indicated that alcohol consumption increases the perceived attractiveness of opposite-sex faces. This may contribute to the known effects of alcohol on risky sexual behaviours. We investigated the effects of alcohol consumption on the perception of opposite-sex faces, whilst controlling for alcohol expectancy. In a balanced placebo design, males and females were allocated to one of the four groups: (1) told they would receive alcohol and did; (2) told they would receive alcohol but did not; (3) told they would not receive alcohol but did; (4) told they would not receive alcohol and did not. They then rated opposite-sex faces and neutral stimuli for 'attractiveness'. Roughly three-quarters of the sample were classified as hazardous or harmful drinkers by the AUDIT questionnaire. No significant differences between groups in ratings of attractiveness for either set of stimuli were found. Findings remained the same in a reduced sample for whom the experimental manipulation was successful (as assessed by post-test questioning). Thus, we did not find that alcohol ingestion enhanced ratings of opposite-sex faces. Nor did we find that, in the overall sample, the expectation of receiving an alcoholic drink influenced opposite-sex face ratings. Possible explanations for these null findings are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: EPrint Services
Date Deposited: 07 May 2010 15:03
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2015 11:45
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/2410

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