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Title: Alcohol intoxication and emotion
Author: Munoz, Miguel
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1992
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This thesis represents an attempt to study the effects of alcohol intoxication on emotional behaviour in normal individuals. The pharmacology of ethanol was reviewed briefly and a framework for the study of emotion and the effects of drinking on it was delineated within the general information processing paradigm. The experimental research carried out in this thesis concentrated on two aspects of emotional behaviour that have particularly attracted the interest of those investigating the effects of alcohol: sexual response and anxiety. In an experiment that used the Balanced Placebo Design alcohol was found to reduce the ability to voluntarily inhibit sexual response to erotic stimulation. The most likely explanation of this effect is an impairment of the cognitive processes necessary to suppress the physiological sexual reaction. A review of the literature reveals that a relatively high dose of alcohol (more than 0.8 g/kg) consistently reduces cardiac response to social stress. The effect of a lower dose was investigated. A repeated measures design was used in order to minimize the error variance due to the inter-individual variability in the effects of alcohol that it was thought had obscured the effect of low doses in previous studies. Despite the fact that the response to the social stress task habituated from the first to the second session, which complicated the results, this study provided some support to the thesis of the anxiety reducing effects of moderate doses of alcohol. In order to investigate the effects of alcohol on the primary response to stressing environmental stimuli, the psychophysiological response to high-intensity auditory stimulation was examined. Alcohol seemed to make subjects react to the stimuli in a more defensive, less receptive manner. This effect might have been caused by the blood alcohol concentration still increasing at the moment of the test.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available