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

Nick Neave, Carmen Tsang, Nick Heather

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1606-6359
JournalAddiction Research & Theory
Volume16
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of alcohol and alcohol expectancy on perceptions of opposite-sex facial attractiveness in university students'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this