The 'Drunk You' May Actually Be The Real You, According To Study

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Does alcohol really turn us into different people? Or, does it merely lower our inhibitions enough to actually be our realist, truest, most honest selves?

Is the “drunk you” really the most “real you” you can be? 

We all want to think we’re a better person than we actually are. So it’s really no surprise how often we jump on the “blame it on alcohol” train when we do something stupid when we’ve been drinking.

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Ah. Blaming your poor behavior on something outside of yourself. It’s a tale as old as time. “But I was drunk!” Is used as an excuse for everything from silly and embarrassing behaviors like dancing on tables and taking your top off to promiscuous behavior.

Everyone wants to think that their “drunk self” or their "drunk personality" is profoundly different than their “sober self” — but is it really? 

Well, according to a 2017 study by the Association for Psychological Science, published in Sage Journals, the only thing we can really “blame on the booze” is the projectile vomiting everyone saw at last night’s party.

Contrary to popular belief you may actually be more you when you’re drunk than the other way around.

Check out some of these interesting observations from a 2017 study and decide for yourself. Is your “drunk self” your true self that you’re just too uptight to be sober?

This study discovered some things and shed light on some questions:

1. You think you’re different when you’re drunk, but you’re not THAT different.

The study talks about how people THINK they are different when they are drunk, but the reality is that their personalities actually stayed basically the same. They observed this by having peers socialize sober and then half became intoxicated while some stayed sober (the sober ones became “raters” while the intoxicated group was observed during the same type of socializing from before).  

Psychological scientist Rachel Winograd, who conducted the study, explained that “the raters reliably reported what was visible to them and the participants experienced internal changes that were real to them but imperceptible to observers".

This seems to display that personality isn’t affected much (if at all) by alcohol, but rather, drunken individuals think personality is affected based on the chemicals in the brain being altered by alcohol or merely the placebo effect (society says you’re different when you’re drunk so you believe you are different when you’re drunk).

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2. You ARE more sociable.

In the study, the “raters” (the friends that were sober and trained), did observe that while their peers did not seem different in regard to their personalities; they DID seem different in their level of extroversion (they were way more outgoing and sociable).

So, perhaps if you’re an “ultra-introvert”, you’re personality is slightly affected by being drunk, but still not as much as you think.

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So what does this mean?

While these findings are by no means conclusive to whether or not “drunk you” is the “real you”, they do seem to shed some light on the fact that these two assumed “sides” to your personality may not be as far away from each other as previously thought.

Is it possible that you’re more “you” when you’re drunk?

Clearly, our ability to think clearly and to control our emotions are affected by large quantities of alcohol  but do these things make us completely different people? Or is this new ability to express your emotions and thoughts so eagerly make you more “you” than you are sober?

Most people seem to think so! Lizzie Parry interpreted this study by saying “The idea that we transform into different people when we’re under the influence is a popular one ... but new findings suggest booze doesn’t actually have the power to drastically change our personalities.”

Joanie Faletto summed up this study by saying, “Basically, you're always that special, unique, wonderful you, no matter how many tequila shots you foolishly ended up taking on your birthday.” 

Personally, I’m uncomfortable answering this question conclusively since even the research doesn’t seem 100% conclusive. Although, it does seem relatively clear that personality isn’t affected much and, on a personal level, I at least don’t think you’re different enough when you’re drunk to blame social faux pas on booze.

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Nicole Bradley-Bernard is a freelance writer who has written articles for multiple publications including FINE Magazine, New York Gal Magazine, Momentum Magazine, and more. Currently, she works as a freelance writer for Mighty Scribes. Follow her on Instagram. 

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