Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Mark S. Goldman, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Michael Brannick, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Eun Sook Kim, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jonathan Rottenberg, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Robert Schlauch, Ph.D.


addiction, alcohol, expectancy, motivation, social bonding


Human survival depends upon the ability to cooperate by forming affiliative social bonds. Social bonding should therefore be a powerful motivating force in practically all human decision making. Past research demonstrates that social bonding and motivation for alcohol consumption share similar psychological and neurobiological pathways. In this study, we attempted to reduce alcohol motivation by enhancing perceptions of social bonding prior to and during the hours and days when alcohol consumption was most likely. In a predominantly female college student sample, we found mixed support for our hypotheses that a novel social bonding manipulation delivered through mobile technology would satiate alcohol reward anticipation and reduce alcohol consumption during the weekend. However, the dramatic changes in social life caused by the COVID-19 pandemic made it challenging to draw robust inferences regarding our hypotheses due to uncertainty about how the phenomena under investigation may have changed. We also were unable to recruit enough participants to obtain a sample size that reached sufficient statistical power based on a priori power analysis. Nevertheless, these tentative findings provided preliminary support and guidance for future studies that may explore the role of social bonding as a motivational mechanism in alcohol consumption.