Character Trait Makes for a Mean Drunk

Drunks who focus on the moment likely to get meaner
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 25, 2011 3:05 PM CST
Updated Dec 25, 2011 3:35 PM CST
'Here and Now' Personality Trait Makes Drunks Meaner: Study
And the meanest drunk of the party is...   (Shutterstock)

Ah, Christmas: good cheer, festive dinners, and people who drink enough to say what they really think of you. Clearly some personality types should hold off on that third drink. Scientists recently studied the subject and found that people who focus on the here and now—rather than on repercussions—are most likely to get nasty, LiveScience reports. If you think ahead, "it is unlikely getting drunk is going to make you any more aggressive than you usually are," one researcher says.

The study involved a mild form of torture. Participants were given mixed drinks and told to play a computer game against an anonymous opponent—really the computer letting each person win half the time. Participants received an electric shock when they lost and were allowed to give one when they won. The here-and-now, impulsive types with the stiffest drinks gave the longest, hardest shocks, while alcohol had little effect on punishment doled out by forward-thinking people. (Now find out why loud music makes us drink more.)

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