The moderating effects of tension-reduction alcohol outcome expectancies on placebo responding in individuals with social phobia

Kenneth Abrams, Matt G. Kushner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

We conjectured that individual differences in tension-reduction alcohol outcome expectancies (TR-AOEs) could produce widely varying responses to manipulations in alcohol-placebo studies and tested this idea by having individuals with social phobia give speeches in front of a group. One speech occurred before and one after participants consumed either a placebo beverage or a control beverage (i.e., a nonalcoholic drink described as containing no alcohol). Study results indicate that the placebo manipulation reduced cognitive and affective symptoms of anxiety to a greater extent for males with high TR-AOEs than for males with low TR-AOEs. This pattern was not found for women in the placebo group or for individuals in the control group. These findings demonstrate a moderating effect of TR-AOEs on the association between the consumption of a placebo beverage and response to an anxiety challenge and highlight the importance of accounting for gender and outcome expectancies when evaluating psychoactive substances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1221-1224
Number of pages4
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Volume29
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2004

Keywords

  • Placebo
  • Social phobia
  • TR-AOEs

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