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Alcohol Myopia Effect

  • By: Katherine L. Waller & Tara K. MacDonald
  • In: Encyclopedia of Social Psychology
  • Edited by: Roy F. Baumeister & Kathleen D. Vohs
  • Subject:Social Psychology (general)
Definition

Alcohol myopia theory states that alcohol intoxication (getting drunk) decreases the amount of information that individuals can process. Consequently, when people are intoxicated, the range of information that they can pay attention to is restricted, such that intoxicated people are able to pay attention to only some of the information that could be registered by a sober person. In addition, their ability to fully analyze the information that they have registered is impaired.

Background and History

When asked about the effect of alcohol consumption on behavior, most people can probably tell a story or two about a friend who did something really silly or zany after drinking. On a more serious note, you have probably also heard about instances where alcohol intoxication was associated with dangerous behaviors, ...

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