Many people believe that their personality changes quite a lot when they drink a little too much. Still, a new alcohol character study shows that this may not necessarily be true. Some believe that they are “mean” drunks or “funny” ones, but that may just be their sober personality.
Researchers from the University of Missouri conducted this study to see if there is such a thing as a “drunk personality”. The psychologists wanted to understand the difference between how we see and perceive ourselves when drunk and how other see us when in such a state. They took a closer look at the changes that may occur to our personality when we drink.
Drunk Personality a Myth?
The team gathered 156 adult volunteers for its study. Before they started the experiment, all of the participants completed a 50-items questionnaire. Every participant had to self-report their perception of their typical sober and drunk personality. The participants were then offered $10/ hour to drink vodka-and-Sprite.
Half of the participants received just Sprite and the remaining half vodka-and-Sprite. Together with the alcohol intake, the volunteers were also asked to take part in various tasks and activities. They also played a lot of games, specially designed for provoking a range of personality expressions. During the experiment, they had to report twice about their mood changes.
The researchers observed their behavior from the outside. While the participants felt like their personality started changing as they were getting drunk, the researchers did not notice most of the changes.
The team used the Five Factor Model of personality as a model for the personality changes. But among these 5 major traits, the only one noticeably influenced by alcohol was extraversion. The participants self-reported many significant changes to their drunk behavior. But these drastic differences did not seem to make an appearance.
Alcohol can affect our skills and our abilities to perform certain tasks. But the study detected no significant changes in personality. Our mood can change when we drink, but this also happens when we are scared, busy or stressed.
“We were surprised to find such a discrepancy between drinkers’ perceptions of their own alcohol-induced personalities and how observers perceived them,” said Rachel Winograd, a study lead.
This study shows that what we think about ourselves might not be the same as what others think about us. It also questions and debunks the myth of a drunk personality. Research results were published in the Clinical Psychological Science SAGE journals.
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