Campus Location

Abilene Campus

Date of Award

Summer 7-29-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Clinical Psychology

Degree Name

Master of Science

Committee Chair

Scott Perkins

Second Committee Member

Richard Beck

Third Committee Member

David McAnulty

Abstract

Habitual caffeine consumers often report difficulty reducing caffeine use with many continuing to use caffeine despite experiencing symptoms suggestive of substance dependence. Given the evidence of a positive association between sensation seeking and substance use as well as initial reports of a negative relationship between elevated conscientiousness and substance use, this study proposed to evaluate the relationship of both factors on caffeine consumption and expectancy. Two hundred sixty-five students in an introductory psychology course completed a series of brief surveys assessing caffeine consumption, caffeine expectancies, sensation seeking, and conscientiousness. A statistically significant positive correlation was hypothesized for sensation seeking and caffeine consumption as well as expectancy. It was also hypothesized that a statistically significant positive correlation would be seen for conscientiousness with caffeine consumption and expectancy. Two-tailed correlations were computed to test hypotheses, and analysis revealed relationships that varied from these predictions to a degree. Sensation seeking showed a significant positive correlation with caffeine consumption as predicted, however, no significant correlation for sensation seeking with caffeine expectancy was observed. Conscientiousness showed no significant correlation with self-reported caffeine consumption, but did show a significant negative correlation with caffeine expectancy. These results suggest that personality variables appear to play an important role on caffeine consumption practices and merit continued and thorough investigation.

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