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Expectancy Set, Self-Reported Expectancies and Predispositional Traits: Predicting Interest in Violence and Erotica
William H. George, Kurt H. Dermen, Thomas H. Nochajski
To investigate the role of alcohol expectancies in predicting postdrinking behavior, two studies were conducted. In Study 1, an instrument assessing alcohol expectancies was devised for later use in prediction. Factor analyses with split-sample validation confirmed 3 factors (11 total items): disinhibition, aggression and sexuality. In Study 2, expectancies, Buss-Durkee hostility and Mosher sex-guilt were assessed in a preexperimental questionnaire session. In a subsequent drink administration session, an expectancy set manipulation led subjects to expect alcohol or to expect tonic. To assess postdrinking behavior, interest in violent, erotic and violent-erotic materials was measured unobtrusively using an ad lib slide-viewing task. Consistent with the hypotheses, expectancies in conjunction with trait hostility significantly predicted violence viewing and violent-erotica viewing for expect alcohol, but not expect tonic controls. Moreover, after variance due to hostility was accounted for, expectancies predicted violence viewing significantly and violent-erotica viewing marginally. These findings provide modest support for the proposition that preexisting alcohol expectancies mediate between the effects of expectancy set and postdrinking behaviors. Once activated by perceived alcohol ingestion, these expectancies can shape postdrinking behaviors. The findings also underscore the need for further experimentation aimed at clarifying the interrelationships between alcohol expectancies and expectancy set.