Some people claim they're a "funny drunk", others claim they're a "sad drunk". Either way, everyone thinks their drunk personality is different from what they're like normally. Whether drunk you is louder, more melancholy, less anxious or whatever, she gets blamed for a hell of a lot of things – both good and bad.
Turns out, though, "drunk you" might not be as much of a thing as you think she is. A new study from the University of Missouri has found that, contrary to what we might believe, other people can't see that much of a difference in our personalities when we're drunk compared to when we're sober.
The study, run by psychological scientist Rachel Winograd and published in Clinical Psychological Science, took 156 participants and asked them to complete a survey about what they thought their personality was like when they were sober, and what they thought they were like when they had consumed alcohol.
When the participants came into the lab, they were split into groups with friends of theirs, some were given alcohol (Sprite and vodka – Winograd's choice of drink as a student. Lass.) and some were given a soft drink. They were then set tasks, games and discussions which were specially designed to show off certain personality traits. Throughout the activities, the participants were again quizzed on themselves while impartial observers watched and assessed them from the outside.
Interestingly, the drinking participants felt they noticed more of a change in themselves when it came to all five main personality traits but the outside observers, less so. The drunk participants reported lower levels of consciousness, felt they were more agreeable, more open to experience and felt more extroverted and emotionally stable (ha).
However, the outside observers only noticed that the drinking participants became more extroverted – everything else didn't register.
"We were surprised to find such a discrepancy between drinkers' perceptions of their own alcohol-induced personalities and how observers perceived them," Winograd said. "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."
So how's that for a sobering thought? The confident and together woman you think you are when you're drunk might not be real but, on the flipside, that means the neurotic, overly emotional drunk you might not be as visible to the outside eye as you thought.
Basically kids, drunk you is probably just you. But louder.