How different is your drunk self and your sober self? The answer might surprise you.
The way that people behave under the influence of alcohol is often believed to be a totally different version of their character. After all, how many people have looked back at their antics the night before and swore that they would have never behaved in such a way if it wasn’t for the demon drink? However, this accepted wisdom may be completely wrong. According to a new study, the way that a person behaves when they are drunk may be closer to the ‘real’ version of themselves than the sober one.
“A man’s true character comes out when he’s drunk.” – Charlie Chaplin
A collaborative team of researchers drawn up from Purdue University and the University of Missouri worked with a group of 156 volunteer participants to figure out how alcohol actually affects behavior. All of the volunteers were given a survey two weeks prior to the experiment. This survey asked them to self-assess the traits that they associated with the sober versions of themselves and the drunk one. For the experiment, the volunteers were divided randomly into two groups – one of which was given vodka and Sprite and the other group was just given Sprite. Those who were drinking alcohol were told to keep drinking continuously as they were given various tasks to carry out while being observed by sober individuals.
The participants were asked to rate themselves after completing the tasks. They all believed that they were less conscientious, agreeable, open to experience while drunk and more extroverted and emotional stable. However, the neutral observers disagreed and said that there was not a lot of difference between the drunk participants and the sober ones.
One of the psychologist scientists working on the project, Rachel Winograd, said that she and the team were surprised to see that the drunk participants had a completely different view of their behaviour than outside observers who only believed that they were more extroverted that was typical and did not think that they were being unusually disagreeable or careless when they were carrying out their appointed tasks.