Failure to consider future consequences increases the effects of alcohol on aggression

B.J. Bushman, P.R. Giancola, D.J. Parrott, R.M. Roth

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The failure to consider the future consequences of one's behavior is a major risk factor for aggression. Aggressive people tend to act first, and think later. Some people focus on the "here and now" rather than on the future, a tendency measured by the Consideration of Future Consequences (CFC) scale (Strathman, Gleicher, Boninger, & Edwards, 1994). Alcohol intoxication is a neuro-biological variable that produces similar effects. Participants in the present experiment completed the CFC scale and then consumed either an alcohol or a placebo beverage. Next, they competed against a same-sex ostensible partner on an interpersonally adversarial competitive task in which the winner could administer electric shocks to the loser (the aggression measure). As expected, aggression was highest in intoxicated persons with low CFC scores. Being unconcerned about the future consequences of one's actions, in conjunction with acute alcohol intoxication, combines in a pernicious manner to increase aggression. © 2011 Elsevier Inc..
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)591-595
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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