Alcohol Stimulation and Sedation: a Critical Review of the Biphasic Alcohol Effects Scale

Stephen J. Boyd, William R. Corbin, Meghan E. Morean, Christopher S. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: The Biphasic Alcohol Effects Scale (BAES) is widely used to assess stimulant and sedative alcohol effects. This paper reviews (a) recent measurement developments, (b) behavioral and physiological correlates, and (c) the role of the BAES in refining theories of SR and pharmacological interventions. Recent Findings: An abbreviated scale (B-BAES) and a comprehensive measures of alcohol effects (SEAS) demonstrate strong psychometric properties and use of the BAES has helped refine the Differentiator Model of SR. Importantly, both BAES stimulation and sedation robustly predict risk for later alcohol problems, and the BAES has demonstrated utility in examining mechanisms of pharmacotherapy effects. Summary: The BAES is the most widely used measure of SR and has informed both theory and practice. Recent findings point to important future directions including the need to (a) examine developmental influences, (b) refine our understanding of FH effects, and (c) consider expansion to capture novel aspects of SR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-220
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent Addiction Reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • Alcohol response
  • Biphasic Alcohol Effects Scale
  • Differentiator Model
  • Review
  • Sedation
  • Stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


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