Pour Decisions: The Relationship Between Intoxication, Free-Pour Accuracy, and Subjective Impairment
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
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Reducing risk associated with college student drinking is a major public health concern. The free-pour assessment has the potential to inform interventions aimed at reducing risks associated with college student drinking. Yet, few studies have assessed conditions that influence pouring abilities, and no identified studies have assessed pouring behavior under the influence of alcohol; further, no identified studies actual and perceived free-pouring behavior is subject to acute tolerance, which has been identified as an important factor in alcohol-related risk. It was hypothesized that ratings of subjective intoxication, free-pour accuracy, and ratings of free-pour accuracy would be subject to acute tolerance. Participants trained to pour a standard drink of beer received a dose of alcohol (n=7) or a placebo dose (n=6) and repeated free-pours and ratings of subjective impairment along the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) curve. Results suggested that participants were able to pour a standard drink of beer within the 10% training criterion range (12 oz) after a stimulus fading training procedure. Consistent with previous findings of acute tolerance, results supported the hypothesis that ratings of subjective intoxication were subject to acute tolerance. Inconsistent with hypotheses, free-poured ounces and subjective ratings of free-pour accuracy were not. These data suggest that free-pouring a standard drink of beer is a trainable skill that persists despite a moderate dose of alcohol. Future studies should examine if behavioral skills training of other protective skills in the context of elevated BAC reduces the risks associated with intoxication among college students.