Temporal estimations and subjective evaluations of alcohol consequences

Susanna V. Lopez, Thad R. Leffingwell, Emma I. Brett, Eleanor L.S. Leavens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objectives: College student alcohol interventions utilizing public health messaging describe consequences that are delayed and significantly negative, a strategy shown to be ineffective. It is possible that messaging related to immediate, likely, and less negative consequences may be better at reducing problematic drinking. Although research has investigated perceptions of subjective evaluations, no studies have included perceptions of likelihood of occurrence and temporal estimations of alcohol-related consequences. In the current study, we measured perceptions of consequences in terms of likelihood of occurrence, temporal estimations, and subjective evaluations. Methods: Undergraduate students (N = 308) from a large, Midwestern university completed an online survey assessing alcohol use patterns and perceptions of consequences (ie, likelihood of occurrence, temporal estimations, and subjective evaluations). Results: Students perceived failure to graduate and drunk driving to be the least likely, most negative, and most delayed consequences; vomiting and hangovers were the most likely, least negative, and most immediate consequences. Independent t-tests revealed statistically significant differences between high- and low-risk drinkers. Conclusions: Students perceived differences in consequences on temporal estimation, likelihood of occurrence, and subjective evaluations. Future studies should examine how these perceptions affect subsequent alcohol use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1006-1015
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2019


  • Alcohol
  • Alcohol expectancies
  • Behavioral economics
  • College student health
  • Delay discounting
  • Subjective evaluations


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