Four kinds of drunks

A recent study identifies four kinds of drunks: “Hemingway,” “Mary Poppins,” “Mr. Hyde,” and “The Nutty Professor.” Apart from the cute names, it’s a serious study. Hemingways can drink without much personality change; Mary Poppinses become sweet and agreeable; Mr. Hydes (actually, the study suggests it’s usually Ms. Hyde) become like a different person; and Nutty Professors become extroverted.

You can read the whole article here, and here’s the abstract.

Some individuals ‘‘change’’ more dramatically than others when intoxicated, and the nature and magnitude of these changes can result in harmful outcomes. This study utilized reports (N = 374) of participants’ ‘‘typical’’ five-factor model (FFM) characteristics across sober and intoxicated states and assessed the degree to which these reports could be grouped into meaningful clusters, as well as the association of cluster membership with negative alcoholrelated consequences. Results from finite mixture model clustering revealed a four cluster solution. Cluster 1, ‘‘Hemingway,’’ was the largest and defined by intoxication-related decreases in Conscientiousness and Intellect that were below average; Cluster 2, ‘‘Mary Poppins,’’ was defined by being high in Agreeableness when sober, decreasing less than average in Conscientiousness and Intellect and increasing more than average in Extraversion when drunk; Cluster 3, ‘‘Mr. Hyde,’’ reported larger drunk decreases in Conscientiousness and Intellect and smaller increases in Extraversion; Cluster 4, ‘‘The Nutty Professor,’’ was defined by being low in Extraversion when sober, increasing more than average in Extraversion and decreasing less than average in Conscientiousness when drunk. Cluster membership was associated with experiencing more alcohol consequences. These results support use of the FFM to characterize clinically meaningful subgroups of sober-to-drunk differences in trait expression.


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