What evidence from social psychology, for example Pavlov’s famous experiment, teaches us about how the alcohol industry conditions people to like and enjoy their products and associate pleasure with intake of ethanol…

Pavlov, a Soviet physiologist, discovered, at the turn of the last century, that he can teach a dog to salivate! Yes, to salivate when he hears the ringing of a bell.

He gave meat powder to a dog and he, obviously, salivated. Then he rang a bell, and, obviously, the dog did not salivate. Then he rang the bell and gave meat powder. Of course, the dog did salivate. He did this several times and the dog salivated each time.

Now, Pavlov rang the bell again. This time without meat powder. Presto! The dog started to salivate!!

Yes, we can teach a dog to salivate in response to a bell or even a whistle or a command. For that matter we can teach a dog to salivate in response to anything.

Does this apply to dogs only?

No, it applies to humans as well!

You are hungry and you see a sign on the roadside: Rosso’s cafe. You go inside and you have a wonderful meal. After another visit or two, sometimes just after the first visit, every time you see the sign ‘Rosso’s Cafe’ you feel hungry and want to eat that food.

Here is something about alcohol: sip it for the first time, and yuck, it is not pleasurable at all!

You meet old friends in a little tavern where there is great company, dim lights, nice food and alcohol. This happens again and again. After a while when you take alcohol, you feel good. Even the sight or just mentioning alcohol is enough to make you feel good and excited.

Alcohol is the bell.

  • Rosso’s Cafe sign is the bell.
  • Great taste of food and/ or great atmosphere are the meat powder.

Hey there, we have forgotten Pavlov’s dog. Who might be Pavlov’s dog? Well, humans ARE.

  • Who is Pavlov? Who rings the bell?

In the case of Rosso’s Café: Rosso rings the bell.

In the case of alcohol consumption: The alcohol industry rings the bell.


Try to apply what we explored here in order to explain the immediate ‘false’ effects of drugs injected intravenous. This is about my previous blog post. However, there’s extra input and food for thought to explain the phenomenon fully. Please stay tuned…

For further reading:

Mahesh’s Blog: Why Drugs Used Intravenous Kick In Fast?
Examining the assumption that drugs used intravenous kick in fast: what do drug users say and what does biology have to tell us? This blog post offers a provocative examination of long-held assumptions about narcotic drugs…

Hans Olav Fekjaer (book): The Psychology of Getting High