Self-Control and Alcohol Restraint: An Initial Application of the Self-Control Strength Model

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Individuals whose self-control strength is depleted through the prior exertion of self-control may consume more alcohol in situations that demand restraint. Male social drinkers either exerted self-control by suppressing their thoughts or did not exert self-control while doing arithmetic. They then sampled beer. Participants expected a driving test after drinking and therefore were motivated to limit their intake. Individuals who suppressed their thoughts consumed more and achieved a higher blood alcohol content than those who did arithmetic. The groups did not differ in mood, arousal, or frustration. Individuals higher in trait temptation to drink consumed more after suppressing their thoughts relative to those lower in trait temptation. Alcohol intake may be a function of temptation to drink and self-control strength.

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