Which one is the “I love you, man”?

Binge_BSPThere are certainly different types of drunks. “Sober Dave is boring, you should hang out with Drunk Dave, he’s wild!” or “She is usually a sweetheart, but watch out, she’s a mean drunk.”

Having documented the transition to our drunk alter-egos for 100s of years, we are no strangers to the concept of drunk personality types. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that alcohol can change our personalities from a sober type to a drunk type.

 

Today, research pioneered by University of Missouri graduate student, Rachel Winograd, supports the existence of at least four categories of drunk personalities. Importantly, she reveals if one’s type of drunk personality puts them at greater risk of alcohol-related harms (e.g. regrettable sexual encounters or drunken injuries), as well as alcohol addiction.

A group of 187 pairs of undergraduate drinking buddies answered questions linking their drunk personality to the “big five” personality traits (openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism). Cluster analysis of these answers led to the description of four main drunk personality types as outlined below.

Not only is it a bit of fun to ask, “What kind of drunk are you?”, the drunk personality research field holds promise for the development of novel interventions to help problem drinkers.

Drunk Personality Type 1: The Ernest Hemingway

As Ernest Hemingway wrote, he ‘‘can drink hells any amount of whiskey without getting drunk.” Thankfully, this is the most common drunk personality type shared by 42% of the undergrads, who reported behaving roughly the same and only slightly changing when intoxicated.

Compared to the other personality types, the personality factors that tend to change the most when drunk — i.e. conscientiousness (being prepared, organized, prompt) and intellect ( understanding abstract ideas, being imaginative) — do not change drastically. It is no surprise then that this drunk personality type was not linked with experiencing more negative consequences or alcoholism symptoms.

Drunk Personality Type 2: The Mr. Hyde

Unfortunately, the second most common drunk personality type (23% of the sample) is the monster of a drunk named after the twisted alter-ego of Dr. Jeckyll, Mr. Hyde. They are characterized by being less conscientious, less intellectual and less agreeable than their sober selves or other drunk personality types.

Their drunk personality being the perfect recipe for increased hostility when under the influence, they are statistically more likely to have alcohol use disorder symptoms (i.e. have a higher risk of alcohol addiction). They also suffer a whole range of negative consequences from drinking, from blacking out to being arrested for drunken behavior.

Drunk Personality Type 3: The Nutty Professor

This type of drunk, comprising 20% of the study participants, does a personality 360 [1] when they get drunk. They are particularly quiet and introverted when sober, but their drunken persona has a large increase in extraversion and decrease in conscientiousness (compared to the other drunk types and their sober self). This is likened to the the Disney character, Shermen Clump, when he transforms from taking his secret chemical formula in The Nutty Professor.

Despite having the most drastic personality change, Nutty Professors were not associated with experiencing more negative alcohol-related consequences from drinking.

Drunk Personality Type 4: The Mary Poppins

The least common drunk personality type in the study, found in 15% of the participants, was ‘The Mary Poppins. They are not only particularly agreeable (i.e. embodying traits of friendliness) when sober, they are also agreeable and friendly when drunk. Like Hemmingways, they also decrease less than average in conscientiousness and intellect when getting drunk.

Their drunken sweetness sets them apart from less agreeable Hemmingways. They are essentially the opposite of the Mr Hyde drunk type of drunk, resulting in significantly less negative consequences from getting drunk.

[1] Perhaps Dr. Clark meant to write 180, as 360 degrees is a full circle that brings you back to your original orientation. Or she was making a joke that I am too obtuse to get. Either way, I’ve left the original phrasing.

REFERENCES

Hemingway, E., & Baker, C. (1981). Ernest Hemingway, selected letters, 1917-1961. New York: Macmillan Pub Co.

Winograd, R. P., Littlefield, A. K., Martinez, J., & Sher, K. J. (2012). The drunken self: The Five-Factor model as an organizational framework for characterizing perceptions of One’s own drunkenness. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 36(10), 1787–1793. doi:10.1111/j.1530-0277.2012.01796.x

Winograd, R. P., Steinley, D., & Sher, K. (2015). Searching for Mr. Hyde: A five-factor approach to characterizing “types of drunks.” Addiction Research & Theory, 24(1), 1–8. doi:10.3109/16066359.2015.1029920

This guest article originally appeared on the award-winning health and science blog and brain-themed community, BrainBlogger: What’s Your Drunk Personality Type – Nutty, Naughty or Nice?

from World of Psychology http://bit.ly/2paelfh


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Here’s the disappointingly low level of alcohol consumption associated with reduced risk of dementia

One drink a day (or less) for women and 1-2 drinks (or less) for men reduces the risk of developing dementia, a study has found.

It works out to between 8 and 14 drinks per week.

The study is one of the largest — and longest — to look at the connection between alcohol and dementia.

Dr Kaycee Sink, one of the study’s authors, said:

“As of yet, we still have no cure for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, so it is important to look for things that might help people prevent the disease.

Moderate alcohol intake has been linked to lower risk of heart attacks, stroke, dementia, and death in middle-aged adults, but there is still controversy about alcohol intake in older adults.”

Over 3,000 people aged 75 or over took part in the research, which followed them for over six years.

The study found that those who drank moderately had a 37% reduction in the risk of developing dementia compared with those who did not drink at all.

In this study there was no link between the type of alcohol people drank and the benefits.

Dr Kaycee Sink

“We were excited to see that even in older adults, moderate alcohol intake decreases the risk of dementia,.

It is important to note, however, that our study found a significantly higher risk of dementia for heavy drinkers who started the study with mild cognitive impairment.”

The study can’t tell us whether people should abstain until they are in their 70s, but it seems likely the results reflect steady habits.

  Drink

Dr Kaycee Sink said:

“The participants in this study self-reported their alcohol intake at the start, but it is unusual for people to start drinking in their 70s, so we assume that the habits they reported at the start of the study reflect stable drinking habits.

Without scientific data showing that it is beneficial, I wouldn’t recommend that non-drinkers start drinking in their 70s.”

Dr Kaycee Sink explained:

“Our results suggest that older adults who are normal cognitively and drink moderately do not need to change their drinking behavior.

If you have mild cognitive impairment however, it might benefit you to restrict your drinking and certainly not exceed one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men.”

The study was published in the journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia (Sink et al., 2009).

Read the original post on PsyBlog


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Alcohol’s Unexpected Effect on Memory and Learning

Alcohol’s Unexpected Effect on Memory and Learning:

Alcohol can actually help some areas of the brain learn and remember.

While it’s true that alcohol is generally bad for conscious memory, it can boost unconscious memory.

This may help explain why alcohol — and other drugs — can be so habit-forming.

Or to put it another way, previous ethanol experience enhances synaptic plasticity of NMDA receptors in the ventral tegmental area.

Read more at Jeremy Dean’s PsyBlog

Original study here


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