Learning From Experience? The Influence of Positive and Negative Alcohol-Related Consequences on Next-Day Alcohol Expectancies and Use Among College Drinkers


The purpose of the present study was to examine daily-level associations between alcohol-related consequences and next-day expectancies and alcohol use among frequently drinking college students using a measurement-burst daily diary study.


College students (N = 327; mean age = 19.7 years, SD = 1.26; 53.4% female) participated in a yearlong study in which they completed computerized interviews daily via mobile phones for 2 weeks in each academic quarter. Multilevel modeling was used to examine whether positive and negative consequences were associated with next-day alcohol expectancies and alcohol consumption.


Experiencing positive consequences from drinking was significantly associated with higher positive expectancies and a greater number of drinks consumed on the following day. The within-person association between daily consequences and next-day positive expectancies was stronger for those who were in fraternities/sororities compared with those who were not. Negative consequences were significantly associated with higher negative expectancies the next day but were not associated with number of drinks consumed the next day.


Results of this study highlight the role of direct drinking experiences in influencing future expectations and drinking behavior using a method that enables analysis of both between- and within-person associations.