Alcohol effects on intentional behavior: Dissociating controlled and automatic influences

Mark T. Fillmore, M. Vogel-Sprott, Dana Gavrilescu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


This research examined the effect of alcohol on intentional behavior using a process dissociation procedure to separate the influences of conscious controlled processes from those of unconscious automatic processes. In 2 identical experiments, 24 male social drinkers studied a list of words before they received either 0.56 g/kg alcohol, an alcohol placebo, or soda. Participants then performed a word stem completion test that provided estimates of controlled influences and of automatic influences on their responses. The results of the 2 experiments were consistent. Comparisons among the treatments showed that alcohol reduced conscious controlled processes and left automatic processes unchanged. The findings contribute to understanding how the drug may reduce cognitive control of intentional behavior and raise important questions concerning personal and environmental factors that might mediate these effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)372-378
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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