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Journal of Social Behavior and Personality

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This paper focuses on the relationship between role-taking, affect, and alcohol use among college undergraduates. Role-taking is the process through which people anticipate the perspectives—expectations, evaluations, and behaviors—of others (Mead, 1934). Reflexive role-taking (i.e.,viewing oneself through the eyes of others) was significantly related to four distinct types of embarrassment. However, in opposition to our hypotheses, embarrassment resulting from becoming the center of others’ attentions was the only form of embarrassability significantly related to undergraduate drinking. Moreover, it was those students least susceptible to this type of embarrassment who were the most likely to be drinkers. While role-taking, in general, was unrelated to the amount of alcohol consumed, individuals who rarely engaged in empathic role-taking (i.e., rarely anticipated the feelings of others) were more likely to be drinkers and drank more heavily than other students.


This is a post-print version of this article. It was originally published in the Journal of Social Behavior and Personality.