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

Hopthrow, Tim, Randsley de Moura, Georgina, Meleady, Rose ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4671-4960, 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
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Centres > Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Social Cognition Research Group
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Cognition, Action and Perception
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2015 12:02
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2023 00:03
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/54899
DOI: 10.1111/add.12496


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