Effects of alcohol on subjective ratings of prospective and everyday memory deficits

Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2003 Jun;27(6):970-4. doi: 10.1097/01.ALC.0000071741.63467.CB.

Abstract

Background: Research has shown that heavy alcohol use has a detrimental effect on retrospective memory. Less is known about the effect of alcohol on everyday memory.

Methods: This study examined self-ratings of two aspects of memory performance: prospective memory (for example, forgetting to pass on a message) and everyday memory (measured by cognitive failures, such as telling someone a joke that you have told them before). To ensure anonymity and expand on the numbers of participants used in previous studies, data were collected by using the Internet. Data from 763 participants remained after data screening.

Results: After controlling for other drug and strategy use, there was clear evidence that differential use of alcohol was associated with impairments in the long-term aspect of prospective memory and with an increased number of cognitive failures.

Conclusions: These results support and extend the findings of previous research: our findings are consistent with the idea that heavy use of alcohol does have a significant and negative effect on everyday cognitive performance. Possible causes of these impairments are discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cognition Disorders / chemically induced*
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders / chemically induced*
  • Memory Disorders / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires