P300 event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were obtained from 20 pairs of male and 20 pairs of female undergraduate subjects. One member of each pair reported having a father who was alcoholic (FHP), the other reported no known alcoholic biological relative (FHN). Pair members were matched on age, height, weight, grade point average, and personal drinking history. Three auditory tasks which differed in stimulus discrimination difficulty were presented to each subject. All tasks employed 20% target and 80% standard tones with the subject required to move their index finger whenever a target stimulus was detected. No significant differences in P300 amplitude or latency were obtained between the family history subject groups, although female FHP subjects tended to have smaller P300 amplitudes than their FHN counterparts. P300 amplitude decreased with increases in the amount of self-reported alcohol consumed for FHP subjects but significantly so only for the most difficult task situation. The results suggest that the relationship between the P300 ERP and the inheritability of alcoholism is not yet clear and may be subject to modulation by task requirements, population differences, and subject sex.