Peer influence in a micro-perspective: imitation of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
Addictive behaviors (Impact Factor: 2.25). 09/2009; 35(1):49-52. DOI: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2009.08.002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Ample experimental research has found evidence for imitation of alcohol consumption in social encounters. However, these studies cannot reveal whether imitation is specifically related to alcohol and not to consumption in general. We investigated whether imitation is more evident when peers drink alcohol compared to other beverages. We observed sipping behavior during a 30-minute interaction between same-sex confederates and participants in an ad lib semi-naturalistic drinking context (bar lab). We expected a stronger imitation effect when both participant and confederate drank alcoholic beverages. A random occasion multilevel analysis was conducted to take repeated measurements into account. Findings showed that participants imitated the sips of the confederates, but that the likelihood of participants imitating a sip was lower when confederates were drinking alcoholic beverages and participants non-alcoholic beverages compared to when both were consuming alcohol.

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