Shyness, alcohol expectancies, and alcohol use: Discovery of a suppressor effect

Monroe A. Bruch, Richard G. Heimberg, Carol Harvey, Michael McCann, Mark Mahone, Stacey L. Slavkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Despite anecdotal evidence that shyness is associated with alcohol use, studies have failed to show a reliable relation between these variables. The present study tested the hypothesis that expectancies about alcohol's positive consequences in social evaluative situations moderate the relation between shyness and drinking. In hierarchical regression analyses, peer influence, shyness, and alcohol expectancies made significant contributions to predicting alcohol use, but the shyness by alcohol expectancy interaction did not increase prediction of drinking. Also, it was found that alcohol expectancies operated as a suppressor variable. Although the simple correlation between shyness and alcohol use was near zero, inclusion of expectancies in the regression removed irrelevant variance in shyness leading to a significant, inverse relation between shyness and drinking. Results are discussed relative to how shyness problems may relate to minimal drinking activity and how alcohol expectancy findings are consistent with recent tests of the alcohol expectancy model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-149
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • General Psychology


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