Best known for being the ultimate stimulator and causer of fun and exciting things to happen, alcohol definitely brings a whole new side of ourselves.
Maybe you start singing out loud while dancing on tables, hugging and talking with everyone you know (or don’t know). Or, perhaps you become the drama queen – overly emotional and crying over the tiniest little things. Or, maybe, you are the ray of sunshine that makes everyone laugh and keeps the party interesting and going.
Well, according to a study published in Clinical Psychological Science, your drunk-self may actually be the ‘real’ you. Yes, the loudness, the crying, the screaming, the laughing is all real and is not that different from your sober-self.
Our belief that we become different persons when we are drunk is false. If you feel that alcohol makes you more courageous, more fun, happy, and confident, or an emotional wreck – an outsider cannot see a change in the drunk subject’s personality.
For the purposes of the study, researchers gathered 156 participants and asked them to fill a survey and describe their typical sober and drunk personalities together with their typical alcohol intake.
After they completed the survey, researchers divided them into groups of same-sex friends and some of them enjoyed drinking a soda, while others had a few vodka cocktails and had to increase the alcohol in their blood to about 90mg (legal limit is 80mg). Then, the participants were asked to complete a series of tasks that examined different personality traits while sober observers were watching them.
Participants evaluated themselves on a scale from 1-5 their personality factors which included: agreeableness, openness to experience, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and extroversion. The researchers noted a change in the answers of the drunk participants which lowered their levels of consciousness and raised the levels of openness to experience and agreeability.
The observers, however, did not notice such change. They said that there were only slight differences between the participants’ drunk and sober personalities.
“We were surprised to find such a discrepancy between drinkers’ perceptions of their own alcohol-induced personalities and how observers perceived them. Participants reported experiencing differences in all factors of the Five Factor Model of personality, but extraversion was the only factor robustly perceived to be different across participants in alcohol and sober conditions,” said Rachel Winograd, a psychological scientist and the lead author of the study.
Finally, while a few drinks will make you more outgoing and excited, the rest is all you! That cheerful, fun-loving, dancing, sobbing, drama queen is your personality and you should embrace it. Cheers!