Drinking in social groups. Does 'groupdrink' provide safety in numbers when deciding about risk

Hopthrow, Tim, Randsley de Moura, Georgina, Meleady, Rose, Abrams, Dominic and Swift, Hannah (2014) Drinking in social groups. Does 'groupdrink' provide safety in numbers when deciding about risk. Addiction, 109 (6). 913–921. ISSN 0965-2140

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Aims To investigate the impact of alcohol consumption on risk decisions taken both individually and while part of a 4-6 person ad-hoc group. Design 2 (Alcohol: consuming vs. not consuming alcohol) x 2 (Decision: individual, group) mixed model design, Decision was a repeated measure. The dependent variable was risk preference, measured using choice dilemmas. Setting Opportunity sampling in campus bars and a music event at a campus-based university in the United Kingdom. Participants (N = 101) were recruited from groups of 4 to 6 people who either were or were not consuming alcohol. Measurements Participants privately opted for a level of risk in response to a choice dilemma and then, as a group, responded to a second choice dilemma. The choice dilemmas asked participants the level of accident risk at which they would recommend someone could drive while intoxicated. Findings Five 3-level multilevel models were specified in the software program HLM 7. Decisions made in groups were less risky than those made individually (B = -0.73, p < .001). Individual alcohol consumers opted for higher risk than non-consumers (B = 1.27, p = .025). A significant alcohol by decision interaction (B = -2.79, p = .001), showed that individual consumers privately opted for higher risk than non-consumers whereas risk judgments made in groups of either consumers or non-consumers were lower. Decisions made by groups of consumers were less risky than those made by groups of non-consumers (B = 1.23, p < .001). Conclusions Moderate alcohol consumption appears to produce a propensity among individuals towards increased risk taking in deciding to drive while intoxicated, which can be mitigated by group monitoring processes within small (4-6 person) groups.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2014 The Authors. Addiction published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society for the Study of Addiction This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Uncontrolled Keywords: alcohol,decision making,field study,groups,group processes,multi-level model,risk,social drinking
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2015 12:02
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2020 00:34
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/54899
DOI: 10.1111/add.12496

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