Dissociating yourself from your drunken actions is a tradition as old time*. As someone who spends about 70% of their time working through the fug of a hangover, allowing my brain - operating at drastically reduced capacity - to bemoan the fact that the other 30% of my time is spent getting in situations that will result in me being desperately hungover, it is something I am well used to. Most mornings usually begin with a hearty dose of soul-searching scored by the grumbled muttering of sentences such as; "Oh my god I can't believe I did that, "; or "I must've been hammered given the fact that I've had the lyrics to Jedward's 'Lipstick' tattooed on both of my legs"; or even, "Why, oh why did I buy all these damned otters!? How drunk was I?".
Given the deplorable things we're prone to get up to while under the influence it seems far easier to mentally self-sub-divide yourself into two discreet personalities. There is the sober you and the drunk you. The sober you, is a lovable, endearing, charming character who knows how to push boundaries, but will do so with a wink and a smile; whereas the drunk you makes a very good case for the reintroduction of some sort of gulag prison system. This occasionally monstrous other you that takes over seems to - you tell yourself - act and behave in ways entirely out of line with how you normally conduct yourself; thus seemingly giving you license to continue to act this way, as you can dismiss it as the behaviour, 'drunk' you. Well, this excuse for embarrassing flirting; shameful dancing; or, again in one very regrettable instance, the purchasing of vast quantities of otters, is now null and void! Depending on how much credence you give to very poorly executed scientific studies.
"If this is that pesky University of Missouri meddling in our affairs once more, I swear to high heaven, there's a jumbo-sized can of whoop-ass I've got set aside just for 'em," I hear you cry. Well dear reader, you better reach for the can-opener and your passport, as you have some business to attend to in Missouri. That's right, those ol' cats over there have conducted some research to see whether any personality changes become apparent as someone drinks and they have concluded that people's personalities, largely, remain unchanged as they drink.
Their study focused on two groups. The first, a group of friends who had to complete a series of tasks while drinking vodka and Sprite, the second group had to view a group of sober people carrying out the same tasks - it is not clear whether this group were even given regular old un-vodkaed Sprite to tide them over, yet these are the sacrifices that often must be made in the name of scientific research.
The two groups were each observed by another group who were asked to watch how the participants engaged with one another during the provided tasks and told to look out for five key traits: extroversion, neuroticism, conscientiousness, openness and agreeableness.
Apparently, the drunken group were more extroverted and less neurotic - which I can in no way relate to as whenever I drink, both of these traits, not just one go through the roof; I become incredibly and loudly forthright about my myriad neuroses. However the observers stated that they noticed no difference at all in the other traits among the participants of both groups.
Now, the fact that the two groups were made up of entirely different people; the observing group had not seen the drinking group beforehand to understand their personalities in order to understand how drinking changed them, as well as the fact that they had not drunk that much alcohol in the grand scheme of things throws some serious shade on to the veracity of the conclusions that have been drawn from it. All of these things combined means that we should essentially disregard any assertion this study makes and that we can all take a moment to agree that both, the study itself and indeed, this very article, have been utterly futile endeavours for all involved.
If you want to buy into its bizarre assertion that for the most part our personalities don't change when we drink, it is based on as much empirical evidence as was needed for me to just type that sentence. You can say these things University of Missouri, but that doesn't make them true.
*This is categorically an incorrect statement.