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Why College Students Drink: Reinforcement and Contingency

Locate and Review the Dodd, Glassman, Arthur, Webb, and Miller (2010) article regarding positive and negative consequences of excessive alcohol consumption among underage college students. Dodd, V., Glassman, T., Arthur, A., Webb, M., & Miller, M. (2010).

Based on the (Principles of Reinforcement and Reinforcement Contingencies), explain why these college students continue to drink alcohol to excess despite the reported negative consequences.

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It is difficult to reduce alcohol consumption in college students because the reinforcements are consistent and immediate and the negative consequences are intermittent or are perceived at a later time. The positive outcomes of drinking are peer acceptance (rite of passage), peer support (perceived as fun), lower inhibition (able to interact more easily), release from stressors and boredom, increase confidence in making sexual advances, and experimenting with their ability to handle alcohol. All of these reinforcements happen reliably with each drinking occasion. The peer excitement can even happen prior to the start of the drinking, just talking about going! The ability to talk to the prettiest girl in the room, something unthinkable while sober, would be exhilarating and therefore ...

Solution Summary

Your tutorial is 414 words and describes how the positive outcomes are more salient and predictable than the negative ones. An article is presented that has reduced college drinking and the principles of reinforcement are cited for this as well.