The purpose of the present study was to establish ethanol-induced place preference under conditioned fear stress (exposure to an environment paired previously with electric foot shock) in rats by using the conditioned place preference paradigm. The administration of ethanol (300 mg/kg, i.p.) with conditioned fear stress, but not without conditioned fear stress, induced a marked and significant place preference. Furthermore, additional exposure to conditioned fear stress immediately before the post-conditioning test further enhanced the development of ethanol-induced place preference. These results suggest that psychological stress may play an important role in the development of ethanol-induced place preference, and the present method may be useful for studying the mechanism of the rewarding effect of ethanol.