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Psychological Sciences at MU
Denis McCarthy

Denis McCarthy, Preceptor

Professor, Co-Director
210 McAlester
Alcohol Cognitions Lab

Research area(s):

  • Psychopharmacology of alcohol and its influence on judgment and decision-making about alcohol use and alcohol-related problems (e.g., drinking and driving)
  • Genetic, personality, and environmental factors related to additive behavior, particularly how these factors influence alcohol-related learning
  • Expectancy-activation models, studying effects of the activation of alcohol-related concepts in memory


Treloar, H., Piasecki, T.M., McCarthy, D.M., Sher, K.J. & Heath, A.C. (in press). Ecological evidence that affect and perceptions of drink effects depend on alcohol expectancies. Addiction. doi: 10.1111/add.12982.

Amlung, M. McCarty, K.N., Morris, D.H., Tsai, C.L., & McCarthy, D.M. (in press). Increased behavioral economic demand and craving for alcohol following a laboratory alcohol challenge. Addiction. doi: 10.1111/add.12897.

Treloar, H.T., Martens, M.P., & McCarthy, D.M. (2015). The Protective Behavioral Strategies Scale-20: Improved content validity of the serious harm reduction subscale. Psychological Assessment, 27, 340-346. doi: 10.1037/pas0000071

Lee, M.R., Bartholow, B.D., McCarthy, D.M., Pedersen, S.L., Sher, K.J. (2015). Two alternative approaches to conventional person-mean imputation scoring of the Self-Rating of the Effects of Alcohol Scale (SRE). Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 29, 231-236. doi: 10.1037/adb0000015.

Amlung, M.T.Morris, D.H., & McCarthy, D.M. (in press). Effects of acute alcohol tolerance on perceptions of danger and willingness to drive after drinking. Psychopharmacology. doi: 10.1007/s00213-014-3579-1.

Treloar, H.R., Martens, M.P. & McCarthy, D.M. (2014). Testing measurement invariance of the Protective Behavioral Strategies Scale in college men and women. Psychological Assessment, 26, 307-313. doi: 10.1037/a0034471

Morris, D.H., Treloar, H.R., Niculete, M.E., & McCarthy, D.M. (2014). Perceived danger while intoxicated uniquely contributes to driving after drinking. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 38, 521-528. doi: 10.1111/acer.12252

Zapolski, T. C. B., Pedersen, S. L.McCarthy, D.M., & Smith, G. T. (2014). Less drinking, yet more problems: Understanding African American drinking and related problems. Psychological Bulletin, 140, 188-223. doi:10.1037/a0032113.

Gottlieb, J. C., Cohen, L. M., DeMarree, K. G., Treloar, H.T. & McCarthy, D.M. (2013). The development and psychometric evaluation of the smokeless tobacco expectancy scale (STES).Psychological Assessment, 25, 997-1001. doi: 10.1037/a0032256

Arterberry, B. J., Treloar, H. R., Smith, A. E., Martens, M. P., Pedersen, S. L., & McCarthy, D.M. (2013). Marijuana use, driving, and related cognitions. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 27, 854-860. doi: 10.1037/a0030877

Pedersen, S. L. McCarthy, D.M. (2013). Differences in acute response to alcohol between African Americans and European Americans. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 37, 1056–1063. doi: 10.1111/acer.12068

McCarthy, D.M.Niculete, M.E., Treloar, H.R., Morris, D.H., & Bartholow, B.D. (2012). Acute alcohol effects on impulsivity: Associations with drinking and driving behavior.Addiction, 107, 2109-2114. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2012.03974.x 

Burton, C.M., Pedersen, S.L., & McCarthy, D.M. (2012). Impulsivity moderates the relationship between implicit associations about alcohol and alcohol use. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 26, 766-772. doi: 10.1037/a0028742

Treloar, H.R., Morris, D.H., Pedersen, S.L., & McCarthy, D.M. (2012). Direct and indirect effects of impulsivity traits on drinking-and-driving behavior in young adults. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 73, 794-803. PMCID : PMC3410947

Treloar, H.T. & McCarthy, D.M. (2012). Effects of mood and urgency on activation of general and specific alcohol expectancies. Addictive Behaviors, 37, 115-118. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2011.07.006

Hicks, J.A., Pedersen, S.L., Friedman, R.S. & McCarthy, D.M. (2011). Expecting innovation: Psychoactive drug primes and the generation of creative solutions. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 19, 314-320doi: 10.1037/a0022954

Littlefield, A.K, Vergés, A.McCarthy, D.M., & Sher, K.J. (2011). Interactions between self-reported alcohol outcome expectancies and cognitive functioning in the prediction of alcohol use and associated problems: A further examination. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 25, 542-546. doi: 10.1037/a0022090

2009 Curators of the University of Missouri. DMCA and other copyright information. An equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

For more information about the program, e-mail