The research, published in the journal BMJ Open, discovered that different types of alcohol elicit varied emotional responses. "Our global research covers a period of over a hundred years and proves that even in today's highly civilized society, the consumption of these drinks often drives people to aggression, and significantly more often than other types of alcohol", - said the head of the research group of mark Bellis. Similarly, almost 60% of participants said spirits made them feel confident and energetic, while 42% said spirits made them feel sexy.
This same group was also more likely to report feeling all of the more positive emotions when drinking, too.
The findings showed that men were significantly more likely to associate feelings of aggression with all types of alcohol, as were those categorised as heavy/dependent drinkers, who were six times more likely to do so than low risk drinkers. The only emotions that didn't have disproportionately high percentages are tiredness and relaxedness. Roughly two of five beer drinkers said the suds make them feel confident, while one-quarter of red wine drinkers said they feel sexier after a glass. Researchers prepared a set of questionnaires to the participants, and it comprised of queries associated with the trigger of various types of feelings while drinking alcoholic beverages like beer, wine, white wine, and spirits.
For people drinking white wine, the most common emotion was a feeling of relaxation, with a third of people saying they felt this way. In addition, self-reported data are only as good as a participant's memory, and the survey didn't ask how quickly they were drinking, what their moods were like before they took the first sip, or if there was something like dancing or drugs involved that may have changed the overall experience.
Liquor was more likely to draw out negative feelings than all the other types of alcohol, with 30 percent of spirit drinkers associating high-alcohol beverages with feelings of aggression, compared with around 2.5 percent of red wine drinkers.
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But What About Your "Drunk Personality?"
Practically, the researchers think that showing the relationship between drinking and emotions could lead to better ways to help people who may have a drinking problem.
The survey results provide clear evidence that people often pick their drinks based on the mood they want to achieve, said Dr. Scott Krakower, assistant unit chief of psychiatry at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y.
"Understanding why people choose particular drink types and whether different drinks elicit different emotions may help inform more effective public health interventions", the authors write. "As people get the kick from escalating alcohol levels, the same increases reduce the brain's ability to suppress impulsive feelings or to consider the consequences of acting on them".
The bottom line is that I have a lot of questions about the study and its results, and although the whole thing is fascinating, those questions can unfortunately only be answered by further research. Anyone feeling up to the task?