Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)

Degree Level



Psychological Science


Lindsay Ham

Committee Member

Ana Bridges

Second Committee Member

Jennifer Veilleux

Third Committee Member

Ellen Leen-Feldner


hazardous drinking, social anxiety, social modeling


Alcohol outcome expectancies (AOEs) represent people’s ideas about the effects of alcohol (Fromme, 1993). Positive AOEs particularly have been identified as a potential risk factor for hazardous drinking (e.g., Brown et al., 1985). The exact mechanisms that modify AOEs are not fully understood. Further, people higher in social anxiety may be especially receptive to social modeling due to attentional bias shift towards others in social contexts (Rapee & Heimberg, 1997). The current study examined how social anxiety and social modeling associate with AOEs. It was hypothesized that 1) those in the social modeling treatment condition would have higher social anxiety-adjacent AOEs (i.e., those in the sociability, tension reduction, and liquid courage subscales of the CEOA; Fromme, 1993) as compared to those in the control condition, and that 2) social anxiety would moderate this relationship. The final sample (N = 287) was between the ages of 18 – 28 (Mage = 23.82 years; 48.4% men; 56.4% White [Non-Hispanic]). Participants were exposed to a social modeling video-taped manipulation, in which an on-screen actor or actress appeared to either experience a social anxiety reduction from drinking (treatment) or maintain apparent social anxiety after drinking (control). AOEs were assessed post-manipulation. Social anxiety was assessed as a continuous variable prior to the manipulation. Results partially support hypothesis 1, as the those in the treatment condition reported higher positive AOEs overall (i.e., sociability, tension reduction, liquid courage, and sexuality) than those in the control condition. Additionally, while social anxiety was not found to be a significant moderator, it was associated with higher negative AOEs, and social anxiety did not appear to mitigate the effect of social modeling on positive AOEs. Findings from this study suggest that researchers should include social modeling when investigating pathways related to hazardous drinking, whether using a socially anxious sample or not.