Effects of alcohol on moral functioning in male social drinkers

J Genet Psychol. 1979 Mar;134(1st Half):79-88. doi: 10.1080/00221325.1979.10533401.


The present study investigated the effect of alcohol consumption on both moral reasoning and moral values, cognitive variables which are likely to mediate moral behavior. Fifty-five male social drinkers (Mean age = 19.75 years) participated in a one-way pretest-posttest design incorporating two experimental (alcohol) and three control groups. Results showed that alcohol did not affect moral stage reasoning on the Defining Issues Test. However, the endorsement of meaningless items was significantly, but differentially, affected by the alcohol doses administered. No group differences were found in regard to moral values. These findings are related to previous research on alcohol and cognitive processes.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking*
  • Cognition
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Ethanol / administration & dosage
  • Ethanol / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Morals*
  • Social Behavior


  • Ethanol