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Different Perceptions of Alcohol Types

Posted in Alcohol Abuse

Commercials for a luxury wine brand rarely market using scenes of partying on a boat or young, whiskered men relaxing in a bar, checking out attractive women. On the other hand, beer is not usually advertised with scenes of a romantic, intimate dinner. Both types of alcohol have a certain set of social settings that are connected with serving that beverage.

We know the settings we associate with certain types of alcohol. But, what about the effects of alcohol? Do drinkers expect specific physical reactions to correspond with certain choices of beverage? A recent study by Eric R. Pederson, Clayton Neighbors and Mary E. Larimer examined how negative and positive expectancies varied by different types of alcoholic beverages.

The researchers wanted to investigate how expected effects and subjective evaluations of specific positive and negative expectancy effects vary by different types of alcohol consumed.

The researchers recruited 498 young adults to complete a measure of alcohol expectancies. The participants were randomly placed in groups to evaluate expectancies for beer, wine and distilled spirits. The researchers also asked the participants to indicate the usual amount consumed of the beverage.

The study used separate multivariate analysis of the variance tests to determine if differences were exhibited between the three types of alcohol for positive and negative expected effects and subjective evaluations.

The study’s findings show that the individual may expect different results from drinking different types of alcoholic beverages. The participants expressed more agreement hat wine would have a relaxing effect on them and they rated this effect as a positive one. However, participants expressed more disagreement that beer or shots would affect sexuality and believed there was more connection with sexuality when wine was consumed.

Participants also did not connect wine with impairing effects, unlike their associations with impairment and other types of alcohol. The participants did not believe that wine would affect risk, aggression and self-perception the way other types of alcohol would. The impairing effects of wine were seen less negatively than impairing effects with other beverages.

The results of the study illustrate the different perceptions associated with wine than with other types of alcoholic beverages. It was believed that impairment would not be as severe with wine as with other types of alcohol, and wine was seen as a drink associated with relaxation more than other types of alcohol.

The study’s findings indicate that there may be a need at the education and prevention level to explain more fully the effects of alcohol and its various forms of beverages.