Published on February 20, 2014 | by Alana Maytum


London uni creates a fake pub for psychology students

People drinking in pub

The mock bar will serve both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to volunteers. [Chris Underwood via Southbank university]

A London university has spent £20,000 creating a fake pub for psychology students to carry out research into participants’ drinking behaviour.

The mock bar, located at South Bank University, will serve both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to volunteers, who will be observed by CCTV and hidden microphones.

Volunteers will be monitored on how their alcohol intake corresponds with how willing they are to take risks.

The psychology department converted a former study room into a bar to enable the study of participants’ behaviour in a realistic environment – which is not possible in laboratory conditions.


Dr. Tony Moss, the Head of Psychology, said: “What we are trying to do is simulate, with a greater deal of control, the environment in which people find themselves drinking.”

He added: “This is somewhere in between being able to do research in the real world in a bar — where we have very little control over what is going on — and in a lab cubicle, which is nothing like the way people are drinking in the real world.”

South Bank is a leading university in the study of alcohol addiction and alcohol-related behaviours.

Anne Foster, a spokeswoman for the Drinkaware charity that promotes responsible drinking, stated: “We are particularly interested in understanding the psychology behind consumer behaviour, so being able to conduct experiments in the pub environment is going to be hugely valuable.”


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