A recent study out of Cardiff University has revealed that when drunk and surrounded by other drinkers, people’s judgements of their own intoxication are actually determined by the drunkenness of their peers, not by the actual amount of alcohol consumed. The study demonstrated that when surrounded by other intoxicated people, individuals underestimate their own level of drinking. However, when individuals are surrounded by people who are more sober, they are more cognizant of the risks associated with their drinking behavior.
The research shows how important environment can be when dealing with high risk drinking situations. Thus, if we know how influential the behavior of surrounding peers can be, what steps can we take to make sure that individuals stay safe?
The findings of this study can help us curb excessive alcohol consumption. In evaluating the implications of the findings, Professor Simon Moore of Cardiff University said, “We could either work to reduce the number of very drunk people in a drinking environment, or we could increase the number of people who are sober. Our theory predicts the latter approach would have greatest impact.”
This research reaffirms the importance of Cayuga’s Watchers in mitigating high-risk drinking at social events. Even the simple presence of sober Watchers at events encourages others to be more aware of their own level of drinking and the associated risks. While there are many factors that can contribute to someone’s judgments about their own behavior, the study provides key insights about how we can continue to make every event throughout the Cornell community safer.
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