Butler Journal of Undergraduate Research

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Peter R. Finn


Binge drinking has been common practice and a rite of passage for many young adults in the college population. The practice of binge drinking has continued even as binging is associated with several cognitive deficits. One unanswered question still remains: namely, at what levels of binge drinking do these cognitive deficits associate? To investigate this question, three different groups of binge drinkers (low, moderate, and heavy) were compared on two measures of cognition: intelligence (IQ) and executive working memory (EWM) capacity. The binge groups were also compared to non-bingers and abstainers to further investigate how they differed in EWM capacity and IQ. Lastly, correlations were made between binge density and the cognitive measures. Based on the previous literature, the following hypotheses were made: (1) low, moderate, and heavy binge clusters would emerge from the cluster analyses, (2) the heavy and moderate cluster would exhibit decreased performance in the two cognitive domains in comparison to the low cluster, (3) the binge density measure would be negatively correlated with the cognitive measures, and (4) the low, moderate, and heavy clusters would exhibit lower EWM capacity and IQ scores in comparison with non-bingers and abstainers. Some of the obtained data support that different binge subtypes are indeed differentially associated with both EWM capacity and IQ in young adults who binge. However, the mixed findings illustrate that additional longitudinal research is merited.