Blind tests

Blind tests are used as a way of getting into the nitty gritty of the subject of intoxication. It is a way for the researchers to establish what is what - chemical effect of the drug and expectations on the drug. One of the most reliable ways of making blind tests is called "the Marlatt method":

1) A number of people are divided into different groups. One group is served what they believe to be alcohol and one group believe they receive the same drink but without alcohol. The beverage used is often beer or a cocktail. One part of those who believe they are given alcohol are actually given an alcohol free beverage and one part of those who are given something alcohol free to drink are served an alcoholic beverage.

2) In order to prevent the participants from figure out the difference the beverage is poured from genuine bottles in front of them. Everyone is provided with a mouth spray so that they all have the same "taste" in the mouth. In some of the tests the participants are asked to breath into a prepared breathalyser, which shows that they have the same level of alcohol in their blood as they expect to have. The groups are put together at a party in a bar like environment. The researchers observe and measure the reactions without interfering in the activities.

3) It is always difficult to manipulate an experienced alcohol drinker. Many experiments are unrecognised by certain researchers because they do not make the situation believable enough. Alan Marlatt was very careful to create a believable situation for the participants. Blind tests have been popular since the 1950ies. That's why there is a lot of knowledge today about the actual effects of alcohol.

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