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NCJ Number: 201715 Find in a Library
Title: Personality Characteristics Ascribed to Young Women Who Drink Alcohol
Journal: Drug and Alcohol Review  Volume:22  Issue:2  Dated:June 2003  Pages:117-123
Author(s): Sandra C. Jones; John R. Rossiter
Editor(s): John B. Saunders
Date Published: June 2003
Page Count: 7
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This study employed an implicit personality rating methodology from marketing research to investigate young adults’ perceptions of young women who drink alcoholic beverages.
Abstract: There is an ongoing debate about the permissible extent and nature of alcohol advertising, with advocates of increased regulation arguing that current advertising implies that using alcohol increases the consumer’s attractiveness to the opposite sec, relaxes them, removes their problems, and helps them to make friends. Numerous studies have found a correlation between alcohol advertising and the alcohol knowledge, beliefs, and drinking intentions of people under 18 years of age. It has been shown that consumers, especially adolescents and young adults, ascribe different personality characteristics to people who consume specific types or brands of alcohol, with many of these perceptions apparently stemming from the images presented in the advertising. This study examined the personal characteristics that are ascribed, in the minds of young adult Australians, to those who consume alcoholic beverages, and was based on an experimental design using the “shopping list” method. A pilot study was conducted with third-year Australian university students (n=62) who were asked to size up another person’s personality based on little information; no gender was listed for the other person. Results of the pilot study were confounded by the absence of gender information. Thus the directional hypothesis was developed for the main study: the hypothetical student with alcohol on her shopping list will be evaluated more favorably than the student without alcohol. Participants in the study were first-year marketing students. The questionnaire was completed in class, with participants randomly allocated to conditions. There were 309 competed responses with 14 students over the age of 25 (those no longer considered young adults) excluded from that study on 1 student excluded for not completing the personality questions. Participants in the final sample (n=294) were between 17 and 25 years of age and 56 percent were female. The analysis of the findings show that the female student with alcohol on the shopping list was described as significantly more self-assured, more interesting, more outgoing, and more of a leader. The non-alcohol purchaser was rated as more of a conformist, less attractive, less popular, and less sexy. These differences were not statistically significant. Brand-related differences were noted for female participants but not for male participants. There were not statistically significant brand-related differences between participants labeled as light drinkers and heavy drinkers. In addition, for participants classified as light drinkers, there were few statistically significant differences in the personality ratings. Participants classified as heavy drinkers showed the greatest differences with the female shopper with alcohol on her list rated as more self-assured, more interesting, and more outgoing. The results of the study found support for the hypothesis that certain positive personality characteristics are associated with the use of alcohol, and that in particular, young women who drink are perceived as being more interesting and self-assured than young women who do not drink. 34 references, 4 tables and 1 figure
Main Term(s): Underage Drinking
Index Term(s): Adolescent females; Alcoholic beverage consumption; Australia; Behavioral science research
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