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Alcohol Alcohol. 2013 Jul-Aug;48(4):472-7. doi: 10.1093/alcalc/agt024. Epub 2013 Apr 5.

Interoceptive awareness, tension reduction expectancies and self-reported drinking behavior.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Social & Legal Psychology, University of Bonn, Kaiser-Karl-Ring 9, 53111 Bonn, Germany.



Recent accounts have suggested the involvement of interoceptive processes in consumption behavior for alcohol and other drugs. However, there is a paucity of empirical support for a direct association with physiologically assessed individual differences in interoceptive awareness (IA). The current research explored this postulated link and examined the interplay with positive outcome expectancies of alcohol consumption.


IA of alcohol-dependent adult in- and outpatients was measured with an objective electrocardiogram heart rate tracking task. Tension reduction expectancies (TRE) and drinking compulsions/obsessions were assessed with self-report questionnaires.


No direct associations of IA with drinking compulsions/obsessions were found. However, IA and TRE interacted as predictors of drinking compulsions and drinking obsessions.


The results corroborate the suggestion that neglect of bodily feedback might be a maintaining factor for drinking behavior.

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