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Imperical Essay

923 words - 4 pages

The Combined Effects of Alcohol and Caffeine Associated With a Variety of Health Risk Behaviors
Combing caffeine with alcohol is becoming a growing popular trend for people who are going to have a long night of partying: as high as 54% of college students (Heinz, Wit, Lilje, Kassel, 2013). Although the partiers find this mixture to be helpful, researchers in this article find that there may be a correlation between caffeinated alcoholic beverages (CAB) and risky behavior (i.e. driving under the influence, unprotected sex, etc). This study was intended to outline the effects of caffeinated alcohol on affective, cognitive, and behavioral measures specifically in young drinkers. Heinz et al. (2013) would have participants that would be involved in one of the following: 1) no caffeine, no caffeine expectancy, 2) caffeine and caffeine expectancy, 3) no caffeine but caffeine expectancy, 4) caffeine but no caffeine expectancy. Using past evidence, it was hypothesized that caffeine will diminish the effect of alcohol on negative effects such as performance, sedation, intoxication, and it will increase stimulation and the desire to continue to drink further, imposing a greater risk on the health of the young drinker. Heinz et al. (2013) then compared the participants who receive only alcohol, and those who receive both caffeine and alcohol are hypothesized to show more risky and impulsive behavior. Finally, participants expecting only caffeine are hypothesized to show effects similar to the anticipating participants who consumed both caffeine and alcohol, however to a lesser degree. Based on previous correlational findings showing that consuming CAB is positively associated with the action of health-risk behaviors, Heinz et al. (2013) “hypothesized that CAB use will correlate with self-report measures of impulsivity, frequency of risky behavior, and peer norms surrounding CAB use.” Heinz et al. (2013) found that participant consumption of CAB was “positively correlated with measures of impulsivity and risky behavior.”
The procedure done was a double blind experiment, meaning there was a placebo involved. As mentioned before, Heinz et al. (2013) would have participants that would be involved in one of the following: 1) no caffeine, no caffeine expectancy, 2) caffeine and caffeine expectancy, 3) no caffeine but caffeine expectancy, 4) caffeine but no caffeine expectancy. They were specifically healthy, right handed, young adult social drinkers aged 20-30 (N = 146) in a single session where they received alcohol (equivalent to about four standard drinks) and caffeine (equivalent to 2.75 red bulls). They were then measured on their impulsivity (risk taking), how intoxicated they were on a scale of 1-10, and the ability to react to actions (i.e. reaction...

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