The relationship between alcohol cues, alcohol expectancies, and physical balance

Cathy R. Cox, Erin A. van Enkevort, Joshua A. Hicks, Marielle Kahn-Weintraub, Amanda Morin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Although previous research has shown that beliefs about alcohol (expectancies) are associated with alcohol-consistent, nonconsumptive behavior (e.g., aggression, Friedman, McCarthy, Bartholow, & Hicks, 2007), no research has examined the effects of such expectancy on physical balance. The purpose of the current research was to test the association between alcohol cue exposure and feelings of imbalance. Study 1 showed that participants exhibited poorer balance in the presence of alcohol-related pictures compared to neutral (e.g., juice) or no pictures. Study 2 found that people exhibited a heightened accessibility of alcohol-related thoughts following a manipulation where they felt imbalanced (i.e., rocking on a wobble board) versus balanced. Study 3 showed that people with higher positive expectancies about alcohol reported a greater number of alcohol-related thoughts after they were made to feel imbalanced (vs. balanced). Implications of this research for alcohol expectancies, embodied cognition, and psychomotor functioning are further discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-315
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • Alcohol
  • Balance
  • Embodied cognition
  • Expectancies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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