Your Drunk Self and Sober Self Aren’t All That Different

Elise Solé
People don’t really change their opinions of you when you’re drunk. (Photo: Getty Images)

If you’ve ever felt embarrassed by something you’ve said after a few too many cocktails, rest assured: It’s likely no one noticed.

Even though people believe they undergo a personality shift while under the influence (“The tequila made me do it!”), others don’t really notice a change in their behavior, according to a new study published in the journal Clinical Psychological Science.

“For better or worse, people don’t see your ‘drunk personality’ to the extent that you would experience it,” study author Rachel Winograd, an assistant professor of research at the University of Missouri’s St. Louis-Missouri Institute of Mental Health, tells Yahoo Beauty.

In the experiment, 156 people gathered in a lab and described their “typical drunk” and “typical sober” personality traits on a questionnaire. Then it was happy hour — half the people in the room enjoyed vodka-and-Sprite beverages while the other half consumed only Sprite. Afterward, everyone engaged in a group activity that included discussion and puzzles and continued to rate their personality traits.

Observing the entire scene were a group of research assistants who rated everyone’s personality, without knowing who was drunk and who was sober.

Results showed that drunk people described themselves as less conscientious and agreeable and more extroverted and emotionally stable. However, the research assistants didn’t really note that much difference between the two groups of people, except in one area: extroversion.

“Drunk people were seen as more extroverted — they were more gregarious, assertive, and participated in the conversation more,” says Winograd. She added in a press release, “Of course, we also would love to see these findings replicated outside of the lab — in bars, at parties, and in homes where people actually do their drinking.”

Until then, don’t worry: Whatever you said last night wasn’t a big deal after all.

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