Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. R.Engels@bsi.ru.nl
The aim of this study was to test whether exposure to specific music genres in a social drinking setting leads to differences in drinking levels. An observational experimental design was used in which we invited peer groups of young adults into a bar lab, a lab which is furnished like an ordinary, small pub. Between two tasks, people had a break of 50 minutes in which they could order nonalcoholic and alcoholic beverages. During the break, participants were exposed to a specific music genre: popular, hard rock, rap, or classical music. Those groups who were exposed to classical music drank significantly more alcohol than those who were exposed to other music genres. This pattern is quite robust and does not depend on participants' sex or age, drinking habits, own music preference, and relative importance of music in participant's lives. The study's limitations are mentioned.