Long-Term Objectives The broad goal of this project is to experimentally examine "drunk personality" through the Five- Factor Model (FFM) of personality, as well as the relationships between drunk personality, selected drinking environments, and negative or harmful alcohol-related outcomes.
Specific Aims The primary research aims of this proposal are to implement a rating system for observed personality and behavior to assess traits of the Five-Factor Model (FFM) of personality during "sober" and "drunk" testing sessions, as well as to assess the relation between "drunk personality" and alcohol outlet selection and alcohol-related negative consequences. Specifically, group testing sessions (with and without alcohol) will be observed and recorded, and participants will be rated on their sober or drunk personality using two complementary and reliable methods, an idiographic Q-sort personality rating system and a nomothetic "Thin Slice" personality rating system (to assess between group sober vs. drunk personality differences). Self-reported personality data will also be collected in order to examine perceptions of sober-to- drunk personality change (within-person). Additionally, participants will undergo an interview in which they discuss the specific locations visited, beverages consumed, and consequences experienced during their most recent drinking episode. Using Geographical Information Systems (GIS), selected alcohol outlets and harmful events will be plotted on a map of Columbia, Missouri, in order to identify patterns and trends. Subsequent application of spatial analysis will aim to assess the degree to which personality is associated with particular bars or neighborhoods visited during drinking episodes, as well as the type and severity of negative consequences experienced. During the period of award, the applicant will be trained in observational research methods, including the utilization of recording software and personality scoring. Additionally, she will obtain extensive training in GIS methods and spatial analysis through three statistics-based courses and frequent didactic meetings with expert consultants. Significance The results from this research project could provide valuable information that may contribute to improved understanding of the acute effects of alcohol and how they interact with one's drinking environment to increase the potential for negative alcohol-related outcomes.

Public Health Relevance

Many drinkers believe that their personality (and the personalities of those they know) change under the influence of alcohol. People are known as sad drunks, angry drunks, friendly drunks, or weepy drunks, yet there have been no empirical investigations of alcohol- induced personality change to date. Additionally, alcohol outlet selection (i.e., bars and neighborhoods where people choose to drink) is likely affected by certain characteristics of drinkers, such as personality, and thus the choice of drinking location and any alcohol-related negative consequences experienced in a given drinking episode are likely to be related to a drinker's drunk personality. Understanding the manner in which certain drinkers'personalities are affected by intoxication, as well how that shift in personality is relaed to where they go and what they do while under the influence of alcohol will be important for prevention and intervention strategies to reduce harmful effects related to alcohol consumption.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F31)
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Health Services Research Review Subcommittee (AA)
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Matochik, John A
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University of Missouri-Columbia
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Winograd, Rachel P; Steinley, Douglas L; Sher, Kenneth J (2014) Drunk personality: reports from drinkers and knowledgeable informants. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol 22:187-97