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The acute effects of alcohol on repetitive negative thinking

Mood Disorders Centre Think Tank Seminar Series

A Mood Disorders Centre seminar
Date13 March 2020
Time12:00 to 13:00
PlaceThe Sir Henry Wellcome Building for Mood Disorders Research

Our guest speaker will be Merve Mollaahmetoglu of the university of Exeter


Rumination is a repetitive negative thinking style which promotes negative moods and contributes to depression. Recent studies show that rumination also increases craving for alcohol and is associated with harmful drinking and alcohol related problems. As acute effects of alcohol consumption on rumination are not known, we conducted a laboratory study to explore these. In this study, participants completed a task to get them to ruminate about an important on-going problem. Following this, they were randomly assigned to receive alcoholic (low or high dose) or placebo drinks. We then measured the effects of alcohol or placebo on current rumination and mood at repeated time points. The results revealed that consuming drinks with low dose of alcohol reduced rumination compared to placebo drinks, whilst drinks with high dose of alcohol led to a reduction in negative mood compared to placebo. This may indicate that when confronted with ruminative thoughts, individuals may be prone to drink alcohol in an attempt to stop these thoughts and their consequences such as negative mood.
OrganizerMood Disorders Centre

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