Study shows why we keep drinking
Despite killer hangovers that cause us to swear off drinking for life, many of us don’t hesitate to pick up the bottle again. And the reason may be because we give more weight to alcohol’s benefits as a “social lubricant,” according to LiveScience.com.
“Experiencing negative consequences from drinking is not really a deterrent from future drinking,” said researcher Kevin King of the University of Washington, which published the study in the May 30 issue of the Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.
The study also found that we don’t see the aftereffects of a night out as very sobering.
“People think, ‘It’s not going to happen to me’ or ‘I’ll never drink that much again.’ They do not seem to associate their own heavy drinking with negative consequences,” King added.
For the study, five hundred students were asked to rate their negative and positive experiences with alcohol. In most cases, students ranked their negative experiences as “less bad, and less likely to occur than people who had not experienced negative consequences at all.” Positive experiences were rated “better and more likely to happen.”
Diane Logan, a University of Washington psychology graduate student, recommended programs where students could learn how to develop their social skills without the presence of alcohol. Alternately, schools could implement programs that teach students to drink less so they could have still positive experiences with alcohol — but without severe consequences.