Alcohol Primes, Expectancies, and the Working Self-Concept Academic Article uri icon


  • Previous research has shown that alcohol consumption can lead to momentary changes in the self-concept (e.g., Steele & Josephs, 1990). In two studies (n = 150), we examined whether the implicit activation of alcohol expectancies (i.e., sociability-related expectancies) would also lead to changes in self-perception. To test this idea, participants first completed a measure of sociability-related alcohol expectancies. In a subsequent laboratory session, participants were exposed to either alcohol-related primes (i.e., pictures or words associated with alcohol) or neutral primes. After the priming task, participants completed an ostensibly unrelated self-concept survey that contained words related to sociability (e.g., "outgoing") and nonsociability related words (e.g., "clever"). For both studies, results revealed that sociability-related alcohol expectancies were positively associated with sociability-related self-concept ratings for participants exposed to alcohol primes, but not for participants exposed to the neutral primes. Implications for the role implicit self-concept activation may have on drinking behaviors are discussed.

author list (cited authors)

  • Hicks, J. A., Schlegel, R. J., Friedman, R. S., & McCarthy, D. M.

citation count

  • 9

publication date

  • September 2009