Washington, Jul 5 (IANS): Some people continue to drink heavily as they perceive positive effects like better conversational and joke-telling abilities, improved sex and more energy to stay up late partying -- despite experiencing hangovers and fights.
"This suggests why some people can experience a lot of bad consequences of drinking but not change their behaviour," said Kevin King, co-author and University of Washington assistant professor of psychology.
"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," he said.
Nearly 500 college students completed an online survey measuring their drinking habits during the previous year, the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviours reports.
The survey assessed how often the participants had experienced 35 different negative consequences of drinking, such as blackouts, fights, hangovers, missed classes and work, and lost or stolen belongings, according to a University of Washington statement.
It also gauged 14 positive effects of drinking, including better conversational and joke-telling abilities, improved sexual encounters and more energy to stay up late partying and dancing.
Researchers measured the participants' beliefs about how likely all these drinking consequences would happen again and how positive or negative they were.
"It's as though they think that the good effects of drinking keep getting better and more likely to happen again," said Diane Logan, clinical psychology graduate student, who led the study.