Irresponsibility turns drinkers into bullies

December 20th, 2011 - 3:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Dec 20 (IANS) Drinkers turn into aggressive bullies due to the inability to weigh the consequences of their actions.

“If you carefully consider the consequences of your actions, it is unlikely getting drunk is going to make you any more aggressive than you usually are,” said Brad Bushman, professor of communication and psychology at Ohio State University who led the study.

“People who focus on the here and now, without thinking about the impact on the future, are more aggressive than others… but the effect is magnified greatly when they’re drunk,” he added.

Bushman co-authored the study with Peter Giancola, his counterpart at the University of Kentucky who led the experiments, the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology reports.

“Alcohol has a myopic effect - it narrows your attention to what is important to you right now. That may be dangerous to someone who already has that tendency to ignore the future consequences of their actions and who is placed in a hostile situation,” Bushman said.

The study involved 495 adults, with an average age of 23, who were social drinkers. Before participating, they were screened for any past or present drug, alcohol and psychiatric-related problems. Women were tested to ensure they weren’t pregnant.

Men were more aggressive than women overall but the effects of alcohol and personality were similar in both sexes, according to an Ohio State University statement.

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