Tags: mean | drunk | aggression | future | consequences | ability | consider

Personality Trait Reveals Who Becomes ‘Mean Drunk’

Friday, 06 Jan 2012 06:08 PM

People who fail to consider future consequences of their action tend to be more aggressive when drunk, new research finds.

“People who focus on the here and now, without thinking about the impact on the future, are more aggressive than others when they are sober, but the effect is magnified greatly when they’re drunk,” said study author Brad Bushman, a professor of communication and psychology at Ohio State University.

In the study, nearly 500 adults – at an average age of 23 – were tested on their ability to think about the future impact of their actions. Then some were given beverages with a 1:5 ratio of alcohol and orange juice, while others were given a placebo. Aggression levels were tested in computer-based speed tests in which the winners believed they were delivering electrical shocks – at a length and intensity level they determined – to a person who ‘lost’ the contest. (In fact, no person received a shock.)

“The less people thought about the future, the more likely they were to retaliate, but especially when they were drunk,” Bushman said.

Alcohol is believed to cause drinkers to focus on the most important aspects of a situation, but to ignore peripheral issues. For people focused on the here-and-now, this tendency is exaggerated, researchers said.

The findings will be published in a future issue of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

© HealthDay

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"The less people thought about the future, the more likely they were to retaliate, but especially when they were drunk," researcher says.

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