Dr. Fekjær proves that trying to sell alcoholic beverages without marketing makes as much sense as trying to distribute these products without bottles. Chapter 4 shows that the perceived effects of alcohol are not inherent, but learned — dependant on the set of expectations. Chapter 8 reviews research where consumers can’t tell “better” alcoholic beverages from cheaper versions. Plus, drinkers of a particular brand seemingly are unable to distinguish that drink from others unless labeled.
Brand preference and even the product experience must be learned; marketing serves as the teacher.
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The Psychology of Getting High
by Hans Olav Fekjær, MD, psychiatrist,
Part 1 – Unconscious motives for intoxicant use
Chapter 1: Intoxicants as symbols and rituals
“Having a glass of wine is so nice and cozy” —
Symbols generate moods —
Symbols are valuable tools —
The symbolic functions of the intoxicants —
Rituals and the spirit of community —
Drug use as a compulsory ritual —
Ceremonial chemistry —
The wine snobbery and cocaine snobbery —
Snobbery is not perceived subjectively
Chapter 2: Intoxication as alibi for performances
The social psychology of intoxication —
Explaining behavior and performances —
The attractiveness of self-handicapping: Principles —
The attractiveness of self-handicapping: Examples —
Intoxicants as tranquilizers: Principles —
Intoxicants as tranquilizers: Examples
Chapter 3: Intoxication as alibi for actions
Responsibility during intoxication —
Forgive them, for they know not… —
A sense of freedom – for better or for worse —
A strict conscience on vacation —
… but more often, a permissive conscience is on vacation —
Intoxication for different purposes —
Advertising the alibi —
The extenuating circumstance in court —
What is meant by “drinking too much”? —
The cause of counter reactions: Problem behavior —
Do they really “not know what they do”? —
Intoxication as a collective self-deceit
Part 2 – Conscious motives for intoxicant use
Chapter 4: Are intoxicants magical substances?
Magical substances or learned effects? —
Research with humans and animals —
How do we identify our feelings? —
Can chemical effects be learned? —
The power of expectations: The mighty placebo
Can intoxicants be studied by blind tests?
Chapter 5: Do illegal drugs have pleasant effects?
The pioneer study of marijuana —
Later research on marijuana intoxication —
Do amphetamine and cocaine have pleasant effects? —
Are addicts and drugs users motivated by the chemical effects? —
Psychological effects of morphine and
Psychological effects of LSD, inhalants etc.
Chapter 6: What are the psychological effects of alcohol?
Blind tests with alcohol —
The “Marlatt Method” —
Alcohol and sex —
Alcohol and inhibitions —
Is alcohol a tranquilizer? —
Alcohol and aggression —
Alcohol, mood and self-confidence —
The effects of alcohol upon skill and performance —
Blind tests with alcohol – and so what? —
Alcohol as a natural adulterant —
The best studies: alcohol in different cultures —
Learning the spell of alcohol —
“Loss of inhibitions” – only now and then —
The behavioral effects of alcohol – conclusions
Chapter 7: The chemistry of “getting high”
The adventurous experiences of intoxication and religion —
The pharmacological basis of getting “high” —
“Getting high” — not an effect, but an interpretation.
Chapter 8: Do alcoholic beverages taste good?
Taste preferences: inborn or learned? —
Is alcohol of vital importance for the taste? —
Do “good” alcoholic beverages taste better than “poor”? —
Alcohol, taste and illusions
Chapter 9: Research on motives for intoxicant use, in perspective
From superstition to science: demystification of
How did alcohol and other drugs become
“psycho-active” drugs? —
Chemical hypothesis or indisputable motives? —
Understanding intoxicant use – is it possible?
Chapter 10: May conventional wisdom be changed?
Separating alcohol use from disinhibition —
Putting theory into practice —
Altered expectations give altered experiences