n IFE PsychologIA : An International Journal - The influence of alcohol and presence of women on verbal behaviour

Volume 10, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1117-1421



This paper presents a report of an observational study on the impact of alcohol and presence of women on verbal behaviour of Nigerian alcohol users. Specifically, the study investigated how speech is influenced by alcohol use in relation to; the frequency of speech, the type of issues discussed and if the presence of women is related to these aspects of verbal behaviour. Three hundred and thirty-one Nigerians were unobtrusively observed in alcohol and/or non- alcohol scenes. In 78% of the 77 locations covered, the people observed used alcoholic drinks. An observational schedule in which a list of issues (themes) was made was used to collect the data. Two trained observers visited each location during which a group of drinkers and / or diners were observed and the content of their speech recorded using the themes on the schedule as a guide. The analysis of data showed that the total frequency of issues discussed was significantly more in the alcohol scenes than the non- alcohol scenes. <br>But in terms of specific issues discussed, there were significant differences between the locations only in the case of seven (7) issues out of twenty-four (24) issues in favour of alcohol serving locations. Furthermore, the result showed that the presence of women significantly influenced the frequency of speech and not the type of issues discussed. In other words, speech was more in the women-present locations than the women -absent locations. However, there were no significant differences in specific issues discussed between the locations. In general, alcohol-serving locations were inclined to the discussion of less serious issues such as women (19.6%) whereas the non- alcohol serving locations were more inclined to discussion of serious issues such as the economic condition of the country. The findings were discussed in terms of the effect of alcohol on people's mental activities relevant to speech production, particularly the removal of inhibition following alcohol use. Suggestions for future directions of research in the area were made.

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