Free «Alcohol and Attention» Essay Sample

The researchers were interested in determining the effect of alcohol on attention. They were seeking answers as to diverse psychological effects of alcohol on the central nervous system (CNS). The hypothesis was: Does alcohol consumption cause attentional shift which leads inconsistent behaviors? The participants were a group of 39 university students, 20 female and 19 males aged between 18 and 30 years, who drunk 6 units of alcohol and were not receiving any medication, neither were they habitual users of psychotropic or seductive drugs nor suffering from any illness (Rhodes, 1987).

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The research was conducted by carrying out two distinct experiments for groups A and B. Group A participants were administered with alcohol beyond the legal limit level while group B students were administered with negligible quantities of alcohol. They were required to locate positions of distantly placed loudspeakers and thereafter draw lines on a paper using pencils. This research fits basic research methods because the selection of variables and participants was done randomly, data was collected scientifically and statistical methods such as ANOVA were applied to test statistical inference and variance and to control the percentage of errors. In this research, researchers were measuring the psychological effect of alcohol on an individual’s attention by using auditory response as the dependent variable (Muller, 1963). It was observed that those who took high quantities of alcohol (Group A) were not able to locate the positions of the speakers with ease. They committed more errors and could only locate speakers after repeated attempts. They thus found out that alcohol had significant influence on CNS and attention.

Given the results of the experiment, it can be concluded that alcohol may shift the attention of a person. In real life, these results may be used to control road accidents caused by drunk drivers. The level of alcohol consumed when driving may be set up to a certain limit that may not adversely impair with a person’s attention and vision. Alcohol may also impair a person’s judgement capacity, affect reasoning and attention and increases reactions to challenging situations (Alters & Schiff, 2009). This may lead to false perception of speed and distance thus leading to fatal accidents from reckless driving.

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