Self-focused attention and the experience of alcoholic intoxication

IRENA ZUBER, JAKOB SMARI, LARS NYSTEDT, and HANS BERGMAN

Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, Volume 29, Issue 1, pages 55–64, March 1988

The study was supported by a grant to Dr Lars Nystedt from the Swedish Council for Research in Humanities and Social Sciences. The experiment was conducted at the Department of Clinical Alcohol and Drug Research of the Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm. Dr Zuber is now at the Department of Psychiatry, Huddinge University Hospital in Stockholm. Dr Smari is now at the Department of Clinical Psychology, University Hospital, Iceland.

The present study investigates the relationship between self-focused attention and the experience of emotional and bodily concomitants of alcoholic intoxication. It was hypothesized that self-focused attention would amplify salient mood and bodily concomitants of intoxication after alcohol intake and counteract these concomitants after placebo treatment. Self-focused attention was assessed by measures of private body consciousness, private self-consciousness, and of self-awareness. Since alcohol intake did not influence mood, it was not possible to test our main-hypothesis linking self-focused attention with the experience of mood concomitants of intoxication. As to bodily concomitants of intoxication a strong effect of alcohol intake was disclosed. Further analysis revealed the predicted relationship between self-awareness and private body consciousness on one hand and the experience of bodily concomitants of intoxication, on the other. The relationship between private body consciousness and experience of bodily concomitants of intoxication was moderated by the amount of experience with alcohol. No significant relationship between private self-consciousness and experience of bodily concomitants of intoxication was found.

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