The purpose of this Re-Application is to expand a line of investigation studying the effects of alcohol on judgment. We propose to conduct a laboratory study in which young adult males will view a videotaped interaction between a couple on a first date and then make judgments regarding the acceptability of aggression by the man in the scenario. Before viewing the videotape, participants will be randomly assigned to one of four alcohol conditions (none, placebo, low and moderate). The implicit and explicit stimuli in the situation will vary in each condition to affect the salience of certain characteristics, with the expected result being corresponding changes in the participants' level of acceptance of aggression. The key objectives of the current proposal are to: 1. Partially replicate a previous study in our laboratory with undergraduate males showing that the more intoxicated the participant, the greater his acceptance of aggression towards a woman whose behavior was ambiguous. We speculated that the participants' biases and stereotypes in the ambiguous situation, coupled with his intoxication, led to an increased and exclusive focus on these salient characteristics. 2. Extend the previous research by testing an alcohol myopia explanation of our finding versus a commonly assumed general disinhibition model of alcohol's effects on aggression. We propose to test differential predictions that follow from the two models. If intoxication merely disinhibits aggression, exposure to a clear message condemning aggression should have little differential effect and the participants given the higher dose of alcohol would be MOST likely to accept the idea of aggression. Alternately, if alcohol myopia is an important determining factor in the intoxicated participant's acceptance of aggression, then exposure to a clear message condemning aggression would have the counter-intuitive effect of making the higher dose participants in that condition the LEAST likely of all to accept aggression. 3. Explore the importance of two intrapersonal moderating variables that have been shown in prior research to predict aggression against women: acceptance of interpersonal violence and need for dominance; and one variable, expectations regarding alcohol, that may moderate alcohol myopia effects.
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|Noel, Nora E; Maisto, Stephen A; Johnson, James D et al. (2008) Development and validation of videotaped scenarios: a method for targeting specific participant groups. J Interpers Violence 23:419-36|