What kind of a drinker are YOU?
From the Nutty Professor to the Mary Poppins, psychologists reveal how our personalities change when we’ve had a few
- University of Missouri-Columbia psychologists identified 4 types of drunk personalities: The Hemingway, Nutty Professor, Mary Poppins and Mr Hyde
- Hemingways change only slightly despite drinking large qualities
- Mary Poppins-style drinkers remain agreeable and conscientious
- But Mr Hyde and Nutty Professors change dramatically, to become more disagreeable and extroverted respectively, when drunk
The relaxing effects of a glass of wine or a pint of beer are well-known, but have you ever considered how your personality is affected by that tipple or two?
Psychologists have and now they’ve put identified four types of drunken personalities: The Hemingway, the Nutty Professor, the Mary Poppins and the Mr Hyde.
The Hemingways are the lucky ones who change only slightly even after large amounts of drink, the researchers from the University of Missouri-Columbia found.
Specifically, members of this group showed fewer reductions in the personality traits such as conscientiousness, which is defined as being reliable, organised and prompt, and Intellect -understanding abstract ideas, being imaginative – than the rest of the sample, when drinking.
‘Notably, two previous studies have found that, on average, these two factors reportedly decrease the most with intoxication, so the moderate decreases demonstrated by this group make its members stand out as being “less affected” than drinkers in some of the other groups, much like the author Ernest Hemingway, who claimed that he could “drink hells any amount of whiskey without getting drunk,”’ the researchers said.
Just over four in 10 of those in the study fitted this category, which was made up of an equal number of men and women.
‘Nutty Professors’ however, change quite dramatically. They are the ones who suddenly gain confidence after imbibing a few.
Named after the main character of two Disney films who is chemically transformed into a more outgoing character, these people are particularly introverted when sober and become much more extroverted when drunk.
THE FOUR DRUNKEN PERSONALITIES: FROM MARY POPPINS TO MR HYDE
The Hemingways: This group change only slightly when drunk, retaining a level of contentiousness and intellect.
Around four in 10 of the participants fell into this group.
The Nutty Professors: These drinkers become more confident and extroverted with a few drinks inside them. They also become less conscientious.
More men than women fall into this category and one in five participants overall.
The Mary Poppins: This group remains friendly, cooperative, compassionate and agreeable when drunk.
Around 15 per cent of participants fell into this personality group.
The Mr Hydes: This unfortunate group of people become less conscientious and intellectual, but more disagreeable when they drink. They are most likely to experience memory blackouts or be arrested.
The Mr Hydes made up 23 per cent of the drinkers, with more women than men.
This group also show a large drop in conscientiousness when under the influence, the study found.
One in five of those assessed were Nutty Professors, with more men than women falling into this category.
Meanwhile, members of the Mary Poppins group, which made up 15 per cent of the drinkers, embody the sweet traits of the ever-positive nanny of the screen production, rather than the less caring version in the book.
When sober, they score particularly high on the agreeableness scale, meaning they are friendly, cooperative, compassionate.
And their positive outlook remains as the night wears on.
‘They decrease less than average in conscientiousness, intellect and agreeableness when intoxicated,’ the researchers wrote in the journal Addiction Research and Theory.
People in the Mr Hyde group become increasingly disagreeable when drinking. An image of the sinister literary character is shown
‘The Mary Poppins group of drinkers essentially captures the sweet, responsible drinkers who experience fewer alcohol-related problems.’
For the Mr Hydes, however, it is a very different story.
Named after the sinister alter-ego of Dr Jekyll, these people show large reductions in conscientiousness and intellect – as well as becoming increasingly disagreeable, when drinking.
‘In other words, members of this group, much like the dark-sided Mr Hyde, reported a tendency of being particularly less responsible, less intellectual, and more hostile when under the influence of alcohol than they are when they are sober, as well as relative to members of the other groups,’ said the psychologists.
This personality type is the one most likely to suffer the negative consequences of alcohol, they added.
‘Individuals in this group not only embody less savoury personality characteristics when drunk, but also incur acute harm from their drinking, for example experiencing a memory blackout or being arrested because of drunken behaviour.’
The Mr Hydes made up 23 per cent of the drinkers, with, again, more women than men.
For the study, the researchers asked 364 men and women to complete a 50-item personality test twice – once considering themselves as they normally are, and the other considering how they behave and feel when drunk.
In order to gather honest answers the participants were assured that their responses would be kept in absolute confidence.
The researchers said that their findings could be used to develop treatment programmes for people who need help.
‘Some individuals “change” more dramatically than others when intoxicated, and the nature and magnitude of these changes can result in harmful outcomes,’ they said.
‘These results, as well as the concept of “drunk personality” more broadly, hold promise for developing novel assessment-based and motivational interventions for problem drinkers.’