Throughout human history, humans have believed that getting hammered changes your personality. “In vino veritas” and “Sober thoughts are drunk words,” right? Well, recently that notion was put to the scientific test and, um, turns out that if you’re a complete ass while drunk, you’re probably a complete ass while sober, too.
Researchers at the Missouri Institute of Mental Health tested the claims in a lab setting the fun way, by having people lay out the difference between “drunk me” and “sober me” and then getting them wasted and having them perform activities in front of a video camera. The activities (puzzles!) were designed to bring out observable behaviors, and later both the drunk subjects and the impartial observers weighed in on potential personality changes.
It turns out that, according to results, alcohol changes our self-perception. But to an outside observer, you don’t actually change that much, bar the occasional stumble, slurred word, or poor decision in texting pics. The only trait with an observable change to outsiders was extroversion, so if you think you’re louder and more annoying drunk you’re probably right. But anything else is just your own personal perception (and drunkenness can’t be used as an excuse).
The moral of the story? If you wake up to an inbox full of angry voicemails and a throbbing headache, you were probably already on thin ice for your sober behavior. So if you drink and out comes “angry you,” maybe hit the therapist’s office instead of the local dive.