Effect of Alcohol on Other Behaviors

AuthorJames G. Wigmore
Ef‌fect of Alcohol on Other Behaviors
Since alcohol is ubiquitous in most Western societies, it is not surpris-
ing that many other human behaviors in addition to driving a motor
vehicle are af‌fected by alcohol. The following are some of the signs of
the decreased inhibitions caused by a lcohol intoxication that can lead
to trauma/violence:
• Boisterou s behavior
• Being argu mentative
• Confrontat ional behavior
• Animated or exaggerated act ions
• Obnoxious beh avior
• Saying or doing things that one would not normal ly do when sober
• Exhibiti ng bravado
• Making loud comments about other people in the vicinity
The high incidence of alcohol use in many crimes such a s sexual assault
and homicide gives credence to the old saying that alcohol is but “dis-
tilled crime.”
There appears to be an association between alcohol consumption and
aggression from laboratory studies (–) and f‌ield studies (–).
Alcohol may increase aggression and violent crimes as it can induce al-
cohol “myopia” () and is usually involved in incidents of air rage
() and road rage (, ).
Wigmore on Alcohol
Reference Number: 
Reference Number: 
, .., .. ,  .. . “Alcohol and Aggression: A So-
cial Information Processing Analysis.” Journal of Studies on Alcohol, :
–,  ( tables,  references)
Abstract: Forty male subjects (ages – years) were assigned to a control,
placebo, low-alcohol (.g/kg), or high-alcohol (.g/kg) group. The
dose was consumed within  minutes, and breath alcohol concentra-
tions (BrACs) were determined by an Intoximeter . The mean BrACs
were .g/mL for the low-alcohol group and .g/mL for
the high-alcohol group. Subjects viewed a series of eight videotapes de-
picting a dormitory television room scenario in which a person cha nged
the televis ion channel.
The major f‌inding of the present study is that a .g/kg dose of alcohol
was associated with aggressive responses to a provocation . Moreover,
latter skills in a social information processing model were implicated in
aggressive responding.
Reference Number: 
, .., .. , .. ,  .. . “The Ef‌fects
of a Cumulative Alcohol Dosing Procedure on Laboratory Aggression
in Women and Men.” Journal of Studies on Alcohol, : –,  (
f‌igures,  references)
Abstract: Thirteen fema le and  male subjects (mean age  years) on
 separate days consumed three placebo drinks or three alcohol drin ks
(.g/kg each) at -hour intervals. The alcohol dose was reduced by %
for female subjects. The subjects were tested on aggression. BrACs were
determined with an Intoximeter  III. The mean pe ak BrAC for both
male and female subjects wa s .g/mL.
Our most important f‌inding s were that: ) alcohol increased aggres-
sive responding that was not specif‌ic to either gender; ) aggre ssive
responding increased during the ascending limb of th e BAC [blood alco-
hol concentration] curve and remained elevated for several hours af ter
alcohol consumption; and ) the aggression increasing ef‌fect s of alco-
hol were particular to individuals who were aggressive und er placebo
Ef‌fect of Alcohol on Other Behaviors
Reference Number: 
Reference Number: 
, . “Male Alcohol-Related Aggression as a Function of Type of
Dri nk.” Aggressive Behavior, : –,  ( table,  references)
Abstract: Ninety male subjects (ages – years) consumed . mL of
% alcohol as vodka (%), red wine (%), or beer (.%) or a placebo or
control within  minutes. Aggression was measured with a computer-
ized version of the Taylor “aggression machine.” BrACs were determined
with a Lion Breathalyzer S-D. The mean BrACs were .g/mL
(spirits), .g/mL (wine), and .g/mL (beer).
The hypothesis of the present study was to a large ex tent conf‌irmed.
Under both nonprovocative and provocative conditions, alcohol intoxi-
cation induced by spirits elicited more aggression in term s of shock in-
tensity and shock duration than did intoxication induced by either be er
or wine.
Reference Number: 
, ..,  .. . “The Ef‌fect of Past-Year Heavy Drinking
on Alcohol-Related Aggression.” Journal of Studies on Alcohol, : –
,  ( tables,  f‌igure,  references)
Abstract: One hundred f‌ifty-two ma le and  female subjects (ages –
 years) were surveyed as to their drinking history. The subjects were
divided into a placebo or an alcohol group. The alcohol was consumed
within  minutes (.g /kg for male and .g/ kg for female subjects).
BrACs were determined with an Alco-Sensor IV. The subjects were tested
for aggression using a modif‌ied Taylor Aggression Paradigm. The mean
BrAC was .g/mL.
In conclusion, this is the f‌irst investigation to examine the mod erating
ef‌fects of a history of heav y episodic drinking on the alcohol-aggression
relation in men and women. The results suppor t the hypothesis that
alcohol is more likely to increase aggression in persons (i.e . men) who
tend to consume alcohol in large quantities.
Reference Number: 
, .., .. ,  .. . “Alcohol Consumption and
the Occurrence and Severity of Aggression: An Event-Based Analysis

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