Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Award

Spring 2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Department

Department of Psychology

Advisor(s)

Bryan K. Saville

Jessica G.Irons

Monica J. Reis-Bergan

Abstract

To examine the relation between alcohol consumption and delay discounting of monetary rewards and alcohol rewards, I gave 164 college students an online screener designed to measure the quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption, and hazardous drinking. I identified 20 light-social drinkers and one heavy-social drinker. I then compared how the heavy-social drinker and the light-social drinker discounted delayed monetary rewards and delayed alcohol rewards. The light-social drinking group and the heavy-social drinker both discounted alcohol rewards more impulsively than monetary rewards; the heavy-social drinker discounted more impulsively than the light-social drinking group on both tasks. I also found that the hyperbola-like function provided a relatively decent fit to much of the data. Together, these findings suggest that a delay-discounting task, along with analysis based on the hyperbola-like function, may be sensitive enough to detect qualitative differences in light-social and heavy-social college drinkers.

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