After an evening of alcohol and socialising, or when that quick glass after work somehow turned into a bottle, we all know we're a touch more likely to take the karaoke mic or declare once more just how much we love our friends. Now a new study claims we fall into one of four personality types when drinking, indicating whether we're more prone to over-confidence, friendliness or hostility a few wines in.
In the study of 374 undergraduates, published in the journal Addiction Research & Theory, psychology researchers from the University of Missouri-Columbia labelled the four "types of drunks" as Hemingway, Mary Poppins, Nutty Professor and Mr. Hyde.
The largest group - comprising about 40% of the participants - was the Hemingways, named after the famous writer. This group exhibit little change in personality, and drinking has less of an effect on their conscientiousness and intellect than the other groups - the two factors that decrease the most with intoxication.
The researchers said of the Hemingways, "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'.
"This cluster was not associated with experiencing more alcohol-related consequences and therefore could be thought of as encapsulating the majority of drinkers who tend not to undergo drastic character changes or experience harms."
Nutty Professors, named after the alter ego in the famous Eddie Murphy film, are affected rather more by alcohol, being "particularly introverted when sober" but becoming more confident and outgoing when drunk, also showing a large drop in conscientiousness. One in five studied fell into this category, with more men than women.
The study explained that somewhat surprisingly, the major changes experienced did not necessarily equate to negative consequences, "Although the personality change displayed by 'The Nutty Professors' may be the most dramatic, this does not appear to be associated with elevated harm – at least in terms of the alcohol-related consequences assessed in this study."
Mr. Hydes however were described as “particularly less responsible, less intellectual, and more hostile” when drinking, showing big drops in conscientiousness and intellect and even being more likely to get arrested. 23% of the group were assessed as being Mr. Hydes, with more women than men coming under this category.
The study claims, "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.
"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."
Lastly, the Mary Poppins among us are already extroverted, but simply happier and more agreeable when drinking, making up 14% of those studied.
When sober, they are described as friendly, cooperative and compassionate, remaining so when drunk as they "decrease less than average in conscientiousness, intellect and agreeableness when intoxicated", according to the researchers. "The Mary Poppins group of drinkers essentially captures the sweet, responsible drinkers who experience fewer alcohol-related problems."
Now we just need a name for the ones who always fall asleep and we're good to go. Which one are you?