Just One Drink Unleashes Harmful Impulses: Study Exposes Alcohol’s Dark Side

By: | November 4th, 2023

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Alcohol has been a part of human history for centuries, embraced across various cultures. However, it is somewhat surprising that limited research exists to understand its influence on human morality.

Unleashing the Dark Side: How a Lone Shot of Whiskey Can Fuel Bad Behavior

A recent study has unveiled that consuming just one shot of whiskey or any alcoholic beverage with comparable alcohol content increases the likelihood of individuals causing harm or displaying disruptive behavior.

The University of Silesia researchers organized the participants into three distinct groups: the alcohol group, the placebo group (individuals who were led to believe they were intoxicated but were not), and the control group.

Each participant was presented with a set of scenarios and tasked with ranking them on a scale from “I’d do it for free” to “I’d do it for 1 million dollars.” They were also given the option to refuse the action regardless of the offered amount of money.

The scenarios involved various actions, including tasks such as inserting a pin into the hand of an unfamiliar child or directly confronting their parents with profanity. These scenarios aimed to investigate the extent to which individuals would be inclined to transgress the five fundamental moral principles while under the influence of alcohol. The five fundamental moral foundations are a key component of the Moral Foundations Theory, which was proposed by social psychologists Jonathan Haidt and Jesse Graham.

The research revealed that alcohol consumption had a notable impact on individuals’ care and purity of moral foundations. However, it did not significantly influence their fairness, loyalty, or authority moral foundations.

The study found that intoxicated individuals were more prone to causing harm to others and participating in morally “impure” actions.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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