Validation of the revised Alcohol Expectancy Task [rAET]

Megan Cook*, Florian Labhart, REBECCA MONK, Sandra Kuntsche, Derek Heim, ADAM QURESHI, Emmanuel Kuntsche

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

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Alcohol expectancies are well established determinants of alcohol consumption. Traditionally, expectancies were assessed using self-report questionnaires. However, researchers have increasingly begun to explore the use of pictographic assessments, for example, the revised Alcohol Expectancy Task [rAET]. The current research aimed to examine the factor structure of the task in relation to the hypothesized expectancy dimensions, participants’ endorsement of these dimensions, and whether rAET scores are associated with drinking patterns. The rAET presents participants with several illustrated scenarios in which people are displaying emotions, following the Circumplex Model of Affect. For each scenario, participants select which type of drink the person presented in the illustration was most likely to have drunk. The rAET was administered online to a convenience sample (n=1,192, female: 50.7%, Mage=36.8, SD=13.7). The confirmatory factor analysis demonstrated adequate fit of the hypothesised four-factor model. Mean comparisons demonstrated that positive expectancies were more pronounced than negative expectancies, and a distinction between arousal and sedation expectancies was found. Results of a structural equation model found that positive sedation and positive arousal were related to high drinking frequency. There were no links between usual quantity of alcohol use or binge drinking. It appears the rAET can be successfully used to assess alcohol expectancies in terms of the emotions that are expected to occur from alcohol consumption. Future research is needed to establish the tool’s assessment properties in different settings, and its utility in predicting alcohol consumption in different age groups, particularly children and young adolescents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-91
JournalExperimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2023


  • alcohol
  • expectancies
  • ,rAET
  • Circumplex Model of Affect


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