Are you as think as you drunk you are?
Not since the famous “sky is blue” study have we seen something so shocking as the research soon to be published in the March issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.
According to the study, people use different words to describe they are drunk. Men are smashed or hammered, women are tipsy. There ya go.
This is not anything new, but there is more to the report which states understanding how people describe their intoxication can help researchers better understand self-reporting research. In short, when someone says they are sloshed the researcher can know just how drunk they were.
Different words for different drunks
For example, researchers found 222 of the women said they were “tipsy” after having an average of 4 drinks in a 2 hour period. Four drinks in two hours for women are considered “binge drinking” according to the study author Ash Levitt. A male might describe the same night as “hammered”. Hammered sounds significantly more intoxicated than tipsy, even though both sexes might be describing similar experiences.
On the surface the findings sound interesting, but to extend their argument further, a male in England might say he was pissed while someone in the USA might say he was hammered. Different words are used in different demographics. Like I said earlier, the research findings are not earth shattering.
The researchers lumped the words people used into two groups – moderately drunk and stinking drunk. The conclusion researchers suggest is to know the common words used and apply several choices of these words in future self-reporting studies.
Boys lie (so do girls)
Still anyone who has watched more than one episode of House knows people lie. I do not think you can determine how intoxicated a subject was in the past based on self-reporting. The experience is very subjective.
The amount of enjoyment the subject experienced can also color the evening. I’ve seen people go quiet after two beers, and others who are the life of the party after two beers. The first group might describe the evening as mellow, while others would describe the evening as wild. There are studies showing people can unknowingly drink non-alcoholic beer and still act very drunk.
Researchers (and many sobriety checkpoints) have also shown drunks can not count. They can’t even say the alphabet backwards or touch their nose. Self-reporting the number of alcoholic drinks really cannot be trusted. If they could, the iPhone would not be plagued with scores of beer counter applications.
What this means is you cannot reliably determine how intoxicated a person was by their recollection and you cannot determine the number of drinks they consumed. You are left with just the different words used by drunks to describe the experience.
50 words to describe how drunk you are
To be complete, here are the words I know of to describe intoxication. I expect a phone call for my grant money any day now.
pissed as a newt
under the influence
I live in Denver, Colorado. This blog is everything about beer, wine, cider, mead and other spirits.
I am a avid homebrewer and winemaker. I’ve been making my own beer and wine for many years. I started making beer when I was in college (mostly because the drinking age in the United States is 21). My first few beers were horrible. The beers are much better now, and I often supply my neighborhood with free beer! It is a great hobby!