Date of Graduation

5-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Psychological Science

Advisor

Ham, Lindsay

Reader

Mazzanti, Christopher

Second Reader

Behrend, Douglas

Third Reader

Lee, Richard A

Abstract

This study examined the effects of how interactions of social anxiety and conformity to Western masculine norms affected men’s drinking behavior after receiving feedback that threatened their perceptions of their own masculinity. Social anxiety has previously been shown to be associated with problem drinking and drinking has been found to be perceived as masculine in Western cultures. Thirty-three male students received randomized false feedback to questions they answered that were relevant to masculinity. The feedback either told them they are not very masculine or that they are masculine. Their drinking behavior on a taste-test task involving beers was subsequently observed. Two independent samples t-tests were performed to examine the effects of feedback condition on drinking behavior and level of social anxiety on drinking behavior. Hierarchical linear regressions were also performed to test the interactions amongst the independent variables on drinking behavior. It was found that feedback did affect amount of beer consumed. Social anxiety was not found to affect drinking behaviors independent of interactions with other variables, but three-way interactions of social anxiety, feedback condition, and conformity to certain norms were found, with the socially anxious whom have had their masculinity threatened drinking less if they conform strongly to certain norms. This seems to suggest that socially anxious men who feel that their masculinity is threatened use knowledge that they conform to certain masculine norms to disregard the threat to an extent.

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