Alcohol and Alcoholics: A Behavioral Approach

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By tradition, most research on the influence of psychological and social factors on both the etiology of alcoholism and continued drinking on the part of the alcoholics has been largely anecdotal and hence uncontrolled. This has come about, at least in part, because alcohol researchers have not chosen until relatively recently to employ alcohol as an experimental drug in the laboratory, despite the fact that its use in this context permits controlled investigation of important concomitants of prolonged drinking. Within the past few years, however, several groups of researchers have begun to study the acute and chronic drinking behavior of alcoholics within controlled laboratory settings. To this end, Mello and Mendelson,1-4 Nathan and his co-workers,5-7 Cohen and associates,8-9 and Gottheil10 have now reported on interesting relationships between psychosocial factors and phenomena of drinking behavior in the chronic alcoholic. In some instances, findings from these laboratories have supported those from naturalistic observation, while in others they have failed to do so.

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Transactions of the New York Academy of Sciences, v. 34, issue 7, p. 602-627