Alcohol hangover and managerial effectiveness

Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1995 Oct;19(5):1141-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.1995.tb01592.x.


Twenty-one male managers who normally drink moderate amounts of alcohol participated in a placebo-controlled, double-blind, cross-over experiment. Subjects consumed either placebo or alcoholic drinks to attain a breath alcohol level of 0.10 during the evening before participation in Strategic Management Simulations. By the time of arrival at the simultaion laboratory on the following morning, breath alcohol levels were measured at 0.00. Questionnaire responses indicated considerable hangover discomfort. Responses to semantic differential evaluative scales suggested that research participants evaluated their own managerial performance in the simulation setting as impaired. However, multiple (validated) measures of decision-making performance obtained in the simulation task did not show any deterioration of functioning. Previous research had shown considerable performance decrements in the same task setting, while blood/breath alcohol levels ranged from 0.05 through 0.10%. Apparently, complex decision-making competence by persons who normally consume moderate amounts of alcohol may not be impaired by hangover caused by intoxication during the previous evening that remains at or below a blood alcohol level of 0.10.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / psychology*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Employee Performance Appraisal*
  • Ethanol / adverse effects*
  • Ethanol / pharmacokinetics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / psychology*


  • Ethanol