Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Mark S. Goldman


alcohol-related cognitions, alcohol use disorders, college students, measure development, risk factors


Despite over 30 years of research investigating alcohol expectancies, they have never been examined in terms of the anticipated pharmacological versus social rewards resulting from alcohol consumption, and both appear to play a central role in drinking motivation and behavior. The purpose of this study was to develop a two-dimensional instrument designed to assess both the pharmacological alcohol expectancies of pleasurable, internal states that result from alcohol consumption, as well as the social expectancies that drinking alcohol will result in higher social status and increased effectiveness in social situations. This measure, called the Pharmacological and Social Alcohol Expectancy Scale (PSAES), was developed and validated in a college sample using a two-phase design with three separate samples. Phase I results demonstrated that a respecified model of the PSAES adequately fit the proposed two-dimensional factor structure and provided justification for the items representing two distinguishable domains: social and pharmacological. The measure was then used to 1) assess patterns of drinking expectancies at various drinker levels and 2) investigate whether known risk factors for alcohol use disorders differentiate scores on the two factors. Phase II results indicated that pharmacological and social expectancies are both significantly positively associated with drinking behavior, and that sensation-seeking is significantly associated with pharmacological expectancies. The PSAES represents the first alcohol expectancy instrument to provide adequate coverage of pharmacological expectancies. Implications and limitations are discussed.