We recently demonstrated that alcohol elicits a difference between men and women in perceptual threshold for facial expressions of sadness. However, this study did not include a manipulation of alcohol expectancy. Therefore, we sought to determine whether these effects may be due to the expectation of having consumed alcohol. Male and female participants (n = 100) were randomised using a balanced-placebo design to receive either an alcoholic or a non-alcoholic drink and to be told that this was alcoholic or non-alcoholic. Participants completed a psychophysical task which presented male and female faces expressing angry, happy, and sad emotions. Analysis of threshold data indicated a significant two-way interaction of drink x target emotion, reflecting a higher threshold for the detection of sad facial expressions of emotion, compared with angry or happy expressions, in the alcohol condition compared with the placebo condition. We did not observe any evidence of sex differences in these effects. Our data indicate that alcohol modifies the perceptual threshold for facial expressions of sadness. Unlike our previous report, we did not observe evidence of sex differences in these effects. Most importantly, we did not observe any evidence that these effects were due to expectancy effects associated with alcohol consumption.
|Translated title of the contribution||Effects of alcohol consumption and alcohol expectancy on the processing of perceptual cues of emotional expression|
|Pages (from-to)||258 - 265|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Psychopharmacology|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|