Alcohol and the compensation hypothesis: a test with cognitive and psychomotor tasks.Percept Mot Skills. 1990 Dec; 71(3 Pt 2):1367-74.PM
An experiment tested the hypothesis that moderately intoxicated subjects can compensate for the detrimental effects of alcohol. Subjects were assigned either to a Control group, a Low Incentive group, or a High Incentive group. The dose of alcohol was 1.0 ml of 100% alcohol/kg body weight. The rationale of the experiment was that the High Incentive group would be more inclined to try to compensate than would the Low Incentive group. A psychomotor and two different cognitive tasks were used. Analysis indicated that the psychomotor test was not at all affected by alcohol, so there was no possibility for compensation. On the Color Word Test, intoxicated subjects developed the strategy of taking longer time to complete the test and so keeping the number of errors low. On the Dot Test, men were not affected by alcohol and could not compensate while women were affected and successfully compensated for the detrimental effects of alcohol. The results were interpreted as a partial support of the hypothesis of compensation for alcohol effect.