Craving predicts within session drinking behavior following placebo

Robert F. Leeman, William R. Corbin, Kim Fromme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Tiffany's (1990) cognitive processing model postulates that craving will only occur when access to alcohol is blocked. To test a hypothesis based on this model, we analyzed data from a naturalistic laboratory alcohol challenge study involving moderate-to-heavy drinking young adults (N = 174) with a focus on the placebo beverage condition of this study. Our hypothesis was that self-reports of "wanting more alcohol" (i.e., craving) in the lab, following placebo, would predict subsequent ad libitum consumption because placebo administration would constitute partial blocking of access to alcohol. We also tested the possibility that craving might mediate associations between personality traits and ad libitum consumption. Both trait disinhibition and reports of craving following the placebo beverage significantly predicted ad libitum consumption. Further, craving partially mediated the association between trait disinhibition and ad libitum consumption. Potential implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)693-698
Number of pages6
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number7
StatePublished - May 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcohol
  • Alcohol challenge
  • Craving
  • Disinhibition
  • Harm avoidance
  • Impulsivity
  • Inhibition
  • Placebo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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