Time magazine have now descended into Buzzfeed quiz-levels of articles, with a recent piece on “Which of these four drunks are you?” A solid, academic underpinning from a psychology paper has however, left me at least slightly less than completely cynical. With Christmas just round the corner, the four types of drunk are laid out here so you can try to categorise your family as you all try and cope with the ‘spirits’ of the season.
The first and most popular category is the ‘Ernest Hemingway’. 153 of the 374 (41%) of the sampled
undergraduates fell into the ever-popular routine of pretending to be completely sober, even if they are clearly off their faces. Despite this, these folks show a marked ‘conscientiousness’ and ‘intellect’, and as such will no doubt find themselves profoundly discussing the deeper issues of life in the smokers’ area, or up into the small hours after the night. They will easily manage to stay up that late too, as this group is the least likely to get caught in alcohol-related injury, probably because they’re too busy talking nonsense.
Another regular visitor of the smokers’ area is our second candidate, the ‘Nutty Professor’. Introverted and quiet, sober they wouldn’t say boo to a mouse. Under the influence however, a miraculous change becomes apparent. Their extraversion goes through the roof, and before they know it, they’re chatting away to someone they’ve just met like they’ve known each other your whole lives. Despite such a dramatic personality change, caution isn’t thrown completely to the wind, as they don’t seem to be subjected to any more harm than when sober.
Next up we have a bit of a dark horse, and we all know one. Restrained and civilised, by day as ‘Dr. Jekyll’ this person is an upholding, democratic, reasoned citizen. But by night, ‘Mr Hyde’ comes out. Unlike their Hemmingway compatriots, ‘conscientiousness’, ‘intellect’ (and ‘agreeableness’) all drastically reduce. If “less responsible, less intellectual, and more hostile” sound at all familiar, then count yourself amongst the other 22%. Unsurprisingly, a Dr. Jekyll; is also statistically more likely to get themselves caught up in alcohol-related injuries, incurring acute harm from [their] drinking. Luckily for them however, there’s a gentle, philanthropic children’s book character just around the corner to deal with their problems.
Our final drunk is undoubtedly the loveliest. Characterised as the kindest of all four choices while sober, the ‘Mary Poppins’ reaction is similar to the Hemingway, but also shows an increase in friendliness. Putting the rest of us to shame, they are the “sweet, responsible drinkers” who experience far fewer alcohol-related problems than usual, and generally remain a pleasant, well-meaning member of society. All too rare, they often single-handedly provide the aspirin, water and sick buckets needed desperately by those of us who have had one (or several) too many.
With Christmas just round the corner, the four types are laid out here so you can try to categorise your family as you all try and cope with the ‘spirits’ of the season…
So, perhaps you’re unequivocally a Nutty Professor, or smugly an Ernest Hemingway. You might even be a mix of all four, I don’t make the rules… ‘science’ does. One thing is for sure, if you do happen to be a sacred Mary Poppins, you should never change.