Friday, December 11, 2015

The 4 Types of Drinkers











Image credit: http://www.hlntv.com/article/2015/07/24/four-types-drunks

Mary Poppins, Mr. Hyde, The Nutty Professor and Hemingway walked into a bar...
 
Nope. This isn't a joke, but rather a list of the four kinds of drunk personality types, identified and nicknamed by researchers at the University of Missouri.
 
The above study is different.
 
I am sure we are familiar with the anecdotal reports, clinical lore and internet articles like ‘‘The 12 types of drunk people you’ll encounter at a bar,’’ ‘‘The 7 kinds of drunk people you’ll find at parties,’’ and ‘‘The 9 types of drunk people (and which one you may be!),’’ – the fact is not all drinkers act the same when intoxicated.
 
So begins Rachel Winograd's scientific paper, published May 05, 2015 in the journal “Addiction Research and Theory”. When Winograd, a psychology graduate student at the University of Missouri, perused those clickbait Internet articles, she found them devoid of scientific evidence and entirely incapable of answering the valid question they broached: Are there truly "types of drunks"?
 
The landscape of published scientific literature was similarly barren. Winograd and her co-authors, Douglas Steinley and Kenneth Sher couldn't find a single empirical study on the matter, so they formulated their own. The trio was treading upon new ground. It would be the first attempt to scientifically identify drunk personality types.
 
The work began where many psychology studies often do: In an introductory psychology class.
 
One hundred and eighty-seven pairs of "drinking buddies" were recruited via email and invited into the laboratory, where – in strict confidence – they individually completed surveys covering their background, drinking behavior, and personality, both sober and drunk.
 
Each participant also described the personality and drinking behavior of their "buddy."
 
With the bounty of data from the surveys, Winograd, Steinley, and Sher utilized modeling software in an attempt to identify behavioral clusters. And yes, there were common trends buried in the responses.
 
Four distinct clusters emerged, representing the sought-after "drunk types" and which they named according to popular cultural icons:
 
1. Ernest Hemingway, who, like the writer, retain their intellect and rationality and generally change very little when drunk. The largest type, roughly half male and half female.
 
2. Mary Poppins, the cheery, agreeable drunk who remains responsible throughout the night. The least prevalent type, and mostly female.
 
3. The Nutty Professor, who starts out as an introvert but suddenly becomes more outgoing (and even a little risky) with some Dutch courage – similar to how Professor Sherman Klump transformed into Buddy Love in the movie of the same name. About 50-50 male and female.
 
4. Mr Hyde, the “mean” drunk who becomes less agreeable, less conscientious, and more irresponsible the more they consume. Also a tendency to be “more hostile when under the influence of alcohol than they are when they are sober," the authors wrote, further adding that "Mr. Hydes" were more likely to incur harm from drinking, like experiencing a memory blackout, getting arrested, or sustaining an injury. Better off to be named "Ms Hyde" because the researchers found that a whopping two-thirds of this group is female.
 
Right about now, you might be questioning the purpose of this list, and/or what inspired the study that yielded this highly "shareable" content. According to a press release titled "Searching for Mr. Hyde," the results "hold promise for developing novel assessment-based and motivational interventions for problem drinkers."
 
Alright, I think I know what my next research topic is!
 
Yesterday, Liverpool finished top of their Europa League group by drawing 0-0 with FC Sion in an uneventful game in Switzerland.

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