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Bar lab research aims to decode alcoholic behaviors

May 2, 2011

Will Corbin, an associate professor of psychology inthe College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, studies the development of alcohol-related problems through clinical research in his bar lab, where participants of legal drinking age consume alcohol and are then observed.

After completing a preliminary interview, participants sit in Corbin's bar lab and are served three drinks. "Those drinks are based on their gender, their body weight and their height," Corbin says.

Blood alcohol tests and other computer tests are administered to see how alcohol affects their behavior in a variety of dimensions. The several-hour process ends for participants once they achieve a safe blood alcohol level, and then they are provided a cab ride home.

In this video, Corbin sits down with science writer April Stolarz in his bar lab to discuss his research on the effects of alcoholism on young adults.