Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Richard Miller, Daniel Roenker, Leroy Metze

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


An attempt was made to produce an animal model for the study of alcoholism. It was hypothesized that the laboratory rat could be brought to physical dependency and maintained in that state under a free-choice circumstance. Two groups of 60-day-old Max hooded rats, consisting of 8 males and 8 females per group, were established to serve as experimental and control subjects. Two experiments were conducted. The intention of the first experiment was to install physical alcohol dependency in the experimental subjects with the use of a totally liquid diet. After the first experiment a 6-hr. period of total abstinence was used for all subjects to determine the severity of withdrawal reactions in the experimental subjects. The second experiment attempted to determine the free-choice consumption rates of alcohol by physically dependent and non-dependent of alcohol-choice liquid was used for the presentation of alcohol during the free-choice situation. Alcohol preference was determined by an analyses of variance of a mixed-design with repeated measures on consumption across days. A measure of the gram of ethanol per kilogram of body weight was used as the dependent variable. The results indicated a significant difference in alcohol consumption between alcohol exposed and naive subjects. Sex proved to be non-significant in regard to either group. The daily increase in the ethanol concentration of the alcohol-choice liquid during free-choice proved to be a significant factor in alcohol preference by both the experimental and the control subjects. Based on the observations between the two groups during free-choice, an attempt was made to equate alcohol preference with earlier state dependent learning variables.


Clinical Psychology | Health Psychology | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences