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Towards the development of laboratory methods for studying drinking games: Initial findings, methodological considerations, and future directions



Drinking games are prevalent among college students and are associated with increased alcohol use and negative alcohol-related consequences. There has been substantial growth in research on drinking games. However, the majority of published studies rely on retrospective self-reports of behavior and very few studies have made use of laboratory procedures to systematically observe drinking game behavior.


The current paper draws on the authors' experiences designing and implementing methods for the study of drinking games in the laboratory.


The paper addressed the following key design features: (a) drinking game selection; (b) beverage selection; (c) standardizing game play; (d) selection of dependent and independent variables; and (e) creating a realistic drinking game environment.


The goal of this methodological review paper is to encourage other researchers to pursue laboratory research on drinking game behavior. Use of laboratory-based methodologies will facilitate a better understanding of the dynamics of risky drinking and inform prevention and intervention efforts.

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