• alcohol;
  • drinking;
  • expectancy;
  • South Korea;
  • free association


Introduction and Aims. Cultural and biological particulars existing in East Asian countries are likely to mediate differences in the alcohol consumption experience. Despite this no research to date has directly explored the alcohol free association or expectancy of any East Asian nations. The current research aims to provide a set of South Korean alcohol expectancies.

Design and Methods. Two hundred and thirty-seven South Koreans participated in an alcohol free association test and completed a demographic survey.

Results. The results both confirmed and contradicted areas of past alcohol expectancy research. There appears to be differences in associates with high probability of recall and alcohol expectancy, where negative, negative sedating and sedating expectancy categories were not found to be predictors of South Korean drinker level.

Discussion and Conclusion. The results suggest that South Koreans have a more even level of negative expectancy across all drinker categories, possibly due to a combination of linguistic, cultural and biological difference found among this population. The results provide a list of South Korean alcohol free association norms for future alcohol research in the region, with the results also underlining the need for alcohol free association tests among East Asian nations.[Mahoney BJ, Graham D, Cottrell D, Kim K-Y. South Korean alcohol free associations: Negative expectancy not predicting drinks per occasion. Drug Alcohol Rev 2012;31:469–476]