Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Alcohol-related words can increase aggression

Date:
June 5, 2014
Source:
University of Kent
Summary:
Exposing people to alcohol-related words can influence aggressive behavior in ways similar to actually consuming alcohol, new psychology research shows. Researchers found however that this aggressive behavior occurred when people were subjected to provocation in a way that was not a clear-cut insult. "These results provide another strong demonstration that exposing someone to alcohol-related words alone can influence social behaviour in ways that are consistent with the effects of alcohol consumption," one researcher said.

New psychology research shows that exposing people to alcohol-related words can influence aggressive behavior in ways similar to actually consuming alcohol.

Researchers found however that this aggressive behavior occurred when people were subjected to provocation in a way that was not a clear-cut insult.

Although it has been long known that drinking alcohol can increase aggression, a team of five psychologists, including Dr Eduardo Vasquez of the University of Kent in the UK and others from two US universities, demonstrated in two experiments that participants exhibited aggression following exposure to alcohol-related words -- known as alcohol priming. This effect was demonstrated in situations when they were provoked in a way that was ambiguous or not obvious.

These findings will have implications for understanding the way people behave in situations where alcohol is present, including bars sporting events and parties.

The study -- titled, Are You Insulting Me? Exposure to Alcohol Primes Increases Aggression Following Ambiguous Provocation -- was conducted via two experiments involving US undergraduates.

In the first, half of the students were exposed to alcohol primes -- for example, the words 'wine', 'beer' and 'whisky' -- while the other half were exposed to non-alcohol primes -- for example, 'milk', 'water' and 'juice' -- prior to receiving feedback on an essay they had written. Participants demonstrated increased aggressive retaliation when provoked by the essay feedback, but only when the provocation could not be clearly interpreted as an insult. An unambiguous or clear provocation produced highly aggressive responses, regardless of whether a person was primed with alcohol or not.

The second experiment showed that the effects of alcohol priming are fairly short-lived -- the effect begins to diminish after seven minutes and is gone after about fifteen minutes following exposure to alcohol words. It also showed that alcohol priming influenced aggression by making the ambiguous provocation appear more hostile.

Dr Vasquez, of Kent's School of Psychology, said: 'These results provide another strong demonstration that exposing someone to alcohol-related words alone can influence social behavior in ways that are consistent with the effects of alcohol consumption.

'Our research also examined the parameters within which alcohol priming is likely to affect aggression. These effects seem to occur primarily when the provocation is not clear-cut and obvious, and are thus more open to interpretation. Under alcohol priming, the interpretation becomes more negative, and people become more aggressive.

'We've shown that people attending events where alcohol is typically present do not have to drink to experience, or be subject to, the aggression-enhancing effects of alcohol, a fact that would seem to suggest caution in all such environments.'


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Kent. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. W. C. Pedersen, E. A. Vasquez, B. D. Bartholow, M. Grosvenor, A. Truong. Are You Insulting Me? Exposure to Alcohol Primes Increases Aggression Following Ambiguous Provocation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 2014; DOI: 10.1177/0146167214534993

Cite This Page:

University of Kent. "Alcohol-related words can increase aggression." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140605113659.htm>.
University of Kent. (2014, June 5). Alcohol-related words can increase aggression. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140605113659.htm
University of Kent. "Alcohol-related words can increase aggression." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140605113659.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

More Coverage


Aggressive Behavior Observed After Alcohol-Related Priming

May 22, 2014 It has been well documented by previous research that the consumption of alcohol is directly linked to an increase in aggression and other behavioral extremes. But can simply seeing alcohol-related ... read more
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins