Electronic Theses and Dissertations


Tori Horn



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Committee Chair

James Whelan

Committee Member

Andrew Meyers

Committee Member

Nicholas W Simon

Committee Member

Roger J Kreuz


Warning messages inform consumers of potential risks associated with product use and reduce the likelihood of excessive engagement in risky behaviors. Evidence supports that such messages can educate consumers and reduce gambling. Questions remain about how acute alcohol consumption may interfere with message reception and retention. Memory literature suggests that while alcohol consumption may not influence general message reception it may impact the recall of specific details of the messages. To examine this effect, participants (n = 82) were randomly assigned to consume alcoholic beverages (target blood alcohol concentrations of 0.06-0.08%) or juice. Participants then gambled on slot machines in a casino-themed room where the win-loss experience was controlled. Warning messages appeared every 25 spins and required participants to push a button to continue playing. After the gambling session, participants completed a filler task followed by free recall and recognition assessments. As predicted, 81% of all participants recalled the gist, the general idea, of the warning messages. While the number of messages correctly recalled was similar across conditions, the results supported the hypothesis that alcohol consumption would impact recall accuracy. Those in the alcohol condition underestimated the total number of messages they viewed to a significantly greater extent than those in the control condition. Those in the alcohol condition were also significantly less accurate on the recognition assessment than those in the control condition. Further, participants in the control condition were more likely to recall the self-appraisal message than those in the alcohol condition. These findings suggest that gambling context matters. Individuals who are moderately intoxicated are just as likely as non-intoxicated individuals to understand the general idea of warning messages but may have greater difficulty recalling specific details within those messages. Those who are intoxicated may have difficulties engaging in self-appraisal, indicating that messages that are focused on the financial consequences of gambling may be more impactful.


Data is provided by the student.”

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest


Open Access