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Inquiry Final Assignment

Part 1

Understanding the Link between Alcohol and Anxiety (Stephanie Gold)


In this article the author Stephanie Gold is discussing the link between alcohol use and anxiety.

Many people who suffer from social anxiety have tried alcohol to help cope with these issues,

and many have found temporary relief. But that isn’t always a good thing, in this article you

come to find that alcohol dependence and anxiety disorders have a reciprocal causal

relationship. Which basically means anxiety disorders lead to alcohol dependency which in turn

leads to more anxiety disorders. So, to sum up this summary, know that alcohol may give you

so called ‘liquid courage’ but it isn’t a good way to cope with anxiety disorders.

Dutch Courage? Effects of acute alcohol consumption on self-ratings and observer

ratings of foreign language skills. (Fritz Renner, Inge Kersbergen, and Jessica


In society there is a popular belief that alcohol improves the ability to speak in a foreign

language. So, in this article they conducted a study aimed to test the effects of acute alcohol

consumption on self-rated verbal language performance, and observer- rated verbal language

performance in participants who recently learned the language. They took 50 native German

speakers who recently learned Dutch and randomized them into groups to receive either a low

dose of alcohol or a controlled substance without alcohol. Then they each took part in a
standardized Dutch discussion with a blind experimenter and then the discussion was recorded

and rated by native Dutch speakers. Then each of the participants self-rated themselves as

well. What they came to find was surprising, the participants who consumed alcohol actually

received higher observer- ratings then the sober participants especially in pronunciation. But

another surprising outcome they didn't expect was that the alcohol consumption had no major

effect on the self-ratings. So, in conclusion the came to find that acute alcohol consumption may

have beneficial effects on pronunciation of a foreign language recently learned.

Liquid Courage: The role of Alcohol in Women’s Transition to College ( Gibson, Sandy,

PhD; Vassalotti, Lauren,



Switching from high school to college is a big adjustment, and more and more studies have

found that students try to deal with the change by drinking alcohol. In this article they look at the

perceived benefits of drinking alcohol and alcohol use among freshmen women as they

transition into college. They took a sample of incoming freshmen women and looked at their

drinking behaviors three weeks prior to college and asked them their perceived benefits of

drinking. Then they came back to the participants a month after arriving to college and collected

their new behaviors and perceptions. After collecting the data, the relationship between

perceived benefits of alcohol and actual usage was measured by AUDIT (a test). The results

came back, and they came to find that courage showed the greatest variance in AUDIT scores

when three weeks prior to college it played no significant role. And in conclusion they found that

more women are likely to use alcohol as coping method while transitioning into college.

Part 2
Courage is a thing many people in today’s society struggle with, but you can add a little alcohol

to the equation and that can change things. To give you just a few instances where you can

witness this, just think of a party, or a bar. When people consume alcohol the first areas of the

brain affected are those involved in inhibiting behaviors (Gold, 2017). With those inhibitors

turned off or numbed you are more likely to do things now, because there’s no signal in your

brain saying ‘no’. Therefore, creating a sense of “confidence” also known as Liquid Courage;

And this so called confidence can be applied or observed in many different types of people and


For example, in the first article, “Understanding the Link Between Alcohol and Anxiety”, you see

people using it to cope with their anxiety. According to the article it is was said that the majority

of people with SAD (social anxiety disorder) claimed to find temporary relief while under the

influence of alcohol (Renner, 2006). Another example of this ‘confidence’ can be seen in foreign

languages. A study in the second article, “Dutch Courage” tests the effects of acute alcohol

consumption on self-rated verbal language performance and observer-rated verbal language

performance, in participants who had recently learned the language. They came to find that the

participants who had consumed alcohol received significantly higher observer ratings than those

who hadn't, especially in pronunciation. From there they did mini study of the primary study to

see if the higher ratings could be attributed to overconfidence gained from the alcohol. Before

the language tasks they assessed each person's self-esteem using the Rosenberg Self Esteem

scale, and then reassessed everybody after the tasks. They came to find much higher scores on

the second test of those who had consumed alcohol, meaning a higher self-esteem which is

also referred to as ‘confidence’. And lastly, one final example of confidence can be seen in the

third article, “Liquid Courage: The Role of Alcohol in Women’s Transition into College”, where

they study their perceptions of drinking, and their drinking behaviors during their transition into

college. They looked at the differences in their perceptions and behaviors between three weeks

prior to college compared to those new perceptions and behaviors formed after being in college
for a month. Then they measured the relationships between the perceived benefits of alcohol

and actual consumption of alcohol with an AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test), and

found courage showed the greatest variance in scores. Suggesting that the majority of them used

alcohol to boost their confidence. However, there are also negative impacts that can be connected to

using alcohol as a coping method.

In all three of these examples, you see people using alcohol as a means to cope with problems or

help boost confidence, and while coping with problems and boosting confidence is all fine and dandy

it’s also causing a dependency. To put this into perspective we can look at the first article,

“Understanding the Link Between Alcohol and Anxiety”, in which they talk about what happens after

someone with anxiety has become reliant on alcohol as a coping method. Once they find their

temporary relief and begin to use alcohol as a coping method, it leads to Alcohol Dependence. Once

this happens things get out of hand, the drinking leads to greater anxiety which in turn leads to more

drinking, because that’s the only way you know how to cope with it now. This is what you’d call a

reciprocal causal relationship, which means anxiety disorders lead to alcohol dependence which

leads to more anxiety disorders (Gold, 2017). Similar to this, article three, “Liquid Courage: The

Role of Alcohol in Women’s Transition into College” also discusses how alcohol is used as a

means of coping. The article presents research saying that women in college are more likely to

use alcohol as a coping mechanism then men (Sandy,2017). Then similar to the people with

anxiety, this leads to alcohol dependence. Problem with this though, besides the obvious

addiction, is that woman isn’t able to metabolize alcohol as well. So, they are more susceptible

to liver, heart, nerve, and brain damage, and a result of this their alcohol dependence

progresses at a faster rate. In result of these discoveries a few moments of courage and relief

might not be worth it.

Part 3
Bringing this to a close, I think it’s safe to say my views on liquid courage have been changed

quite a bit. First coming into this, I only connected liquid courage to party settings, and drunk

guys having the “courage” to talk to girls. But the more I looked into it, the more I saw people

actually using it as a coping mechanism. Then how that coping lead to alcohol dependence,

which in turn lead to more problems. After learning all that, I see that liquid courage isn’t all that

it seems, it can lead to some serious problems, and so now it’s clear those few moments

definitely are not worth it.

Works Cited