Alcohol effects on behavioral control: The impact of likelihood and magnitude of negative consequences

William R. Corbin, Jessica M. Cronce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: This study utilized Signal Detection Theory to examine the relative influence of likelihood and magnitude of consequences when assessing alcohol effects on behavioral control. Methods: Moderate to heavy drinkers (N=101) were assigned to alcohol or placebo and completed 4 administrations of a go/stop task that varied the likelihood and magnitude of punishment. Results: Participants in the alcohol condition correctly responded to fewer go signals, and showed a trend toward reduction in sensitivity to task stimuli. Alcohol effects on sensitivity to go and stop signals were most evident when the likelihood of rewards and punishments were similar whereas the magnitude of punishment was not related to the strength of alcohol effects. Conclusion: Results suggest that likelihood of punishment is a more powerful determinant of alcohol-induced disinhibition than is magnitude.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)955-964
Number of pages10
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcohol Effects
  • Behavioral Control
  • Likelihood of Consequences
  • Magnitude of Consequences
  • Signal Detection Theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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