Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Drunk you is the real you, according to science

drunk you party.jpg

We’ve all been there: you wake up with a hangover and a hazy memory of the night before, and immediately blame any bad behaviour on “drunk you”.

An intoxicated version of ourselves that we like to think we have no control over, the “drunk you” excuse gets us out of all sorts of trouble: after all, that wasn’t you performing solo karaoke in the middle of the street at 4am – it was drunk you!

Unfortunately, however, it seems we may not be able to live under the cover of this ruse for much longer.

In a study published last month, scientists have well and truly debunked the “drunk you” myth with the finding that people can’t tell much of a difference in the personalities of drunk people compared to their sober selves.


The study, published in Clinical Psychological Science, asked 156 participants to describe what they thought their personalities were like, both when they were sober and when they were drunk.

The participants were then invited into the lab and half were given an alcoholic drink while half were given a soft drink. They took part in a series of games and discussions designed to show off their personalities, while observers watched from outside.

Read more: This Scandi word means you’re getting drunk in your underwear at home

Throughout the tasks, the drinking participants reported perceived changes in their own behaviours across all five of the main personality traits (extraversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness and neuroticism).

According to the study’s authors, the intoxicated participants reported lower levels of consciousness, said they felt more open to experience and more agreeable, and that they felt more extroverted and emotionally stable.

Crucially, however, the outside observers noticed none of these changes – except that the drinking participants were more extroverted than before.


Speaking to Refinery 29, psychological scientist Rachel Winograd, who ran the study, said, “We were surprised to find such a discrepancy between drinkers' perceptions of their own alcohol-induced personalities and how observers perceived them.

“Participants reported experiencing differences in all factors of the Five Factor Model of personality but extraversion was the only factor robustly perceived to be different across participants in alcohol and sober conditions.”

So, that’s the end of the “drunk you” line of excuses – unless the behaviour you’re explaining away happens to be a bit of extra confidence, of course.

Images: iStock



All aboard: this chic Prosecco van is coming to London

how long wait before sex.jpg

This is how many dates people think you should go on before having sex

starbucks coffee ice.jpg

Coffee ice could solve all of your diluted caffeine issues



Samantha Baines: “It’s time to leave our vaginas the hell alone”

The Call the Midwife star has her say on vaginal beauty treatments

by Kayleigh Dray
26 May 2017

Ramadan: The best places to break your fast in London

These London restaurants provide late night openings and special iftar menus

26 May 2017

10-year-old survivor’s letter to Ariana Grande is beyond beautiful

“I really hope you’re not too scared”

by Kayleigh Dray
26 May 2017

It’s official: this easy email hack is guaranteed to boost read rates

Make your emails stand out in your recipient's inbox with one simple trick

by Jasmine Andersson
26 May 2017

Fathers pay more attention to daughters than sons, new study shows

Dads are also "more emotionally engaged" with girls

by Anna Brech
26 May 2017

Men are totally devastated by this women-only Wonder Woman screening

Who knew they were such big fans of Diana Prince?

by Moya Crockett
26 May 2017

Dog breaks into studio to help reporter read the news

The internet is obsessed with this live news blooper (and for good reason)

by Kayleigh Dray
26 May 2017

“Get over yourself”: gymnast hits back at stranger who judged her arms

Alexandra Raisman responds to “rude and uncomfortable” incident

by Anna Brech
26 May 2017

Fighting for their rights: the heroic teens battling period taboos

"I wasn’t allowed to comb my hair, look in the mirror, attend school, read and write."

by Sarah Biddlecombe
25 May 2017

Twitter responds to terror threat level the only way it knows how

#BritishThreatLevels showcases the self-deprecating humour we Brits seem to love

by Amy Swales
25 May 2017