Effects of Alcohol Intoxication on Risk Taking, Strategy, and Error Rate in Visuomotor Performance

Siegfried Streufert, Rosanne M. Pogash, John Roache, Dennis Gingrich, Richard Landis, Walter Severs, Lisa Lonardi, Anne Kantner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Adult men (N = 44) participated for 2 days (alcohol vs. placebo treatment) in a double-blind, crossover experiment. Performance on the Digit Symbol Substitution Task (DSST) and a visuomotor (VM) task was measured 4 times each day. On the alcohol-treatment day, data were obtained once during ascending breath alcohol levels (BALs), once during maximal BALs (0.05 or 0.10), and twice during descending BALs. Data were collected at the same time points on the placebo-treatment day. Limited evidence for acute tolerance was obtained with the DSST, but error rates on the VM task were higher during maximal and descending BALs. Error rates remained near placebo values, and participants displayed slightly greater caution, while BALs were ascending. Strategy scores on the VM task exceeded placebo scores during maximal intoxication. Data interpretation is focused on individuals in higher level (e.g., professional) positions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)515-524
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology


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