Personality has been related a lot of aspects of life, but seldom to attitude towards drinking. Drinking and personality have never been a topic of research. A lot of differences have been observed between introverted and extroverted personality types. Introverts are quiet people who prefer solitude, silence, and small groups of people with little to no social interaction. Extroverts, on the other hand, are loud people who prefer to be in large groups and tons of social interaction. Personality traits have been studied and the data has been applied to job roles, career development and even love or dating relationships. Not limited to that, personality traits have also been studied to determine its correlation to depression, happiness, loneliness, and narcissism. However, it is interesting to find that personality trait has a correlation to drinking attitudes.
A study by Singh and Kumar (2016) found that introverts have a positive attitude towards drinking whereas extroverts have a negative attitude towards drinking. Since introverts like to be alone, they prefer to have a drink when they are happy and usually consume alcohol in small amounts. On the other hand, extroverts resort to drinking alcohol to overcome boredom, loneliness, and sadness. This causes them to easily fall prey to binge drinking.
Another research by Fairbairn et al. (2015) found that extroverted personality traits have been linked to problematic drinking patterns. It has been observed that when extroverts drink alcohol in a social setting, they seem to experience an enhanced mood after consuming alcohol (Fairbairn et al., 2015).
So why is the topic of drinking and personality so important to research as well as to the field of psychology? Alcoholism is a greater social problem and is also a serious health problem. Understanding attitude to drinking and patterns of drinking and its link to personality trait could be useful in helping to reduce drinking problems or breaking bouts of alcoholism before they become a serious problem.
As noted earlier, introverts drink when they are happy, and they hold a positive attitude towards drinking. Introverts are not big drinkers, but they may drink a glass or two to give them a good kick. They are not risk takers and eventually do not get themselves drunk (Dembling, 2012). On the contrary, as extroverts drink when they are sad or lonely, they tend to engage in binge drinking to overcome their problems. As extroverts find that drinking provides alcohol-related mood enhancement, it serves as a potent force to motivate them to drink heavily (Fairbairn et al., 2015).
Hence the kind of attitude one adopts towards drinking is crucial, and it depends highly on an individual’s personality trait. If extroverts realize that their drinking pattern is the silent strategy they have adopted to overcome their problems, they would soon understand that their choice is not the right one. The topic on drinking and personality needs to be examined further and more research needs to be done before any confirmation can be made.
Fairbairn, C.E. et al (2015). Extraversion and the Rewarding Effects of Alcohol in a SocialContext. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 124(3): 660-673
Dembling, S. (2012). The Introvert’s Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World. New York:Penguin Group
Singh, T.K. & Kumar, N. (2016). Depression: Personality and Gender towards Alcohol Drinking Attitude. The International Journal of Indian Psychology, Vol.3, Iss. 2, No.3.