Effects of Urgency and Decision-Making on Alcohol Consumption
Button, Lindsay Kay
Copyright 2011 by Lindsay Button. In accordance with Title 17 of the United States Code, Copyright Law of the United States of America, this material is copyrighted, and any further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without the permission of the copyright owner.
Urgency: Iowa Gambling Task: College alcohol consumption; Risk-taking (Psychology); College students -- Alcohol use; Impulse;
College alcohol consumption is a serious concern socially and financially. The federal government spends between $900 million and $1 billion on alcohol prevention services annually. Car accidents, violent crime, drowning, and fetal alcohol syndrome are a few costly problems associated with underage drinking (U.S. Department of Justice, 1999). The relationship between urgency (the tendency to take rash, risky actions in order to gain or retain a good mood), decision-making, and alcohol consumption has not been examined extensively. The current study examined the relationships between urgency, decision-making, alcohol expectancies, and actual alcohol consumption among college-aged students. Students completed measures of these elements, and tracked their actual alcohol consumption over the course of three weeks. Results did not support the hypothesis that high risk-taking as measured by the Iowa Gambling Task and high urgency levels would predict increased alcohol consumption. However, there was an effect of gender on alcohol consumption. Findings of the current study suggest that specific study factors related to urgency and risk-taking impact results and need further investigation. McNair Scholar project. Faculty Advisor: Reid Laughlin Skeel, Psychology.