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Alcohol Alcohol. 2009 May-Jun;44(3):250-5. doi: 10.1093/alcalc/agp002. Epub 2009 Feb 23.

An experimental study on imitation of alcohol consumption in same-sex dyads.

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  • 1Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.



In order to study the role of imitation in relation to drinking, alcohol consumption among two peers was examined with experiments in a naturalistic drinking setting.


In a bar lab, 135 young adults (52% women) were exposed to either a non-drinking, a light-drinking or a heavy-drinking same-sex model (i.e. a confederate) in a 30-min time-out session. Instead of using a taste task (Quigley and Collins, 1999. The modeling of alcohol consumption: a meta-analytic review. J Stud Alcohol 60:90-8) in which participants were obliged to consume alcohol, in the current study, a design was used in which participants were allowed to drink alcohol but could also choose non-alcoholic beverages.


Craving for alcohol was included as a covariate in ANCOVAs. Results showed that the participants consumed substantially more alcohol when exposed to heavy-drinking models compared to light- and non-drinking models. Craving levels were positively related to alcohol consumption during the experiment.


Both men and women imitated same-sex peers' drinking behavior in an ad lib naturalistic bar setting.

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