Alcohol-Related Jargon Can Impact Perception and Behavior [Study]

Alcohol-related Jargon Can Impact Perception and Behavior [Study]-1A recent study conducted at a large Midwestern university concluded that certain labels related to intoxication levels could impact further consumption, as well as post-consumption behavior.

The Gender Split on “Intoxication Labels”

Researchers who study natural language related to alcohol consumption found that different levels of intoxication were described with moderate terms or heavy terms.

In general, females tend to describe their level of intoxication using moderate terms, such as “tipsy” or “buzzed.”  Males, on the other hand, more frequently use heavy terms, such as “hammered” or “wasted.”

From the researchers:

Specifically, results supported previous research by showing that moderate intoxication terms such as ‘tipsy’ were applied to female vignette characters more than male characters, even when female characters were heavily intoxicated, and that female participants applied these terms more than male participants. In contrast, heavy intoxication terms such as ‘wasted’ were applied to male vignette characters more than female characters, and male participants applied these terms more than female participants.

Real-World Implications

While the research only focused on use of moderate and heavy labels and the gender bias related to those labels, there are numerous real-world implications:

  • Women may be more at risk for alcohol-related consequences, such as drunk driving or other negative behavior, because they underestimate their level of intoxication.
  • For the same reason, women may also be more at risk for sexual assault, as they may overestimate their abilities to recognize a risky situation.
  • Use of heavy terms by males normalizes heavy drinking (e.g. “this is how strong men behave), contributing to alcohol abuse especially in younger males who may be more easily influences.

Source: Medical News Today

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