Less wait for travel could reduce drinking and driving in people with 'urgency' personality trait
Saving bar patrons' time on their commute home could save lives. A pair of studies by University of Missouri psychologists found that people who reported drinking and driving also exhibited "urgency," or a lack of emotional self-control, especially while drinking. This suggests that some people when intoxicated may be more likely to choose the convenience of driving themselves home instead of waiting for a taxi, said Denis McCarthy, associate professor of psychology at MU.
"Our study correlated urgency, a specific type of impulsivity, to drinking and driving," McCarthy said. "Individuals with a high degree of urgency tend to act impulsively when they are in both positive and negative emotional states. By looking at personality traits that correlate with drinking and driving, we can help people understand how their personalities might incline them to choose the risk of driving after drinking. Once a person knows this, they can decide to take extra care to moderate their drinking or be prepared to call a cab, hop on a bus or ask a designated driver for help."
In one study, McCarthy and his colleagues evaluated 29 individuals based on whether they had recently driven after consuming three or more drinks in the previous two hours. The study participants were repeatedly presented with the option of receiving a small amount of money (five cents) as a reward after waiting five seconds or a larger amount (15 cents) as a reward after 15 seconds. Choosing the shorter wait and smaller reward was considered an expression of impulsive behavior.
Participants completed the test twice – once while sober and once after drinking alcohol. Individuals who reported drinking and driving were not different from other participants in their impulsivity when sober. After consuming alcohol, those who reported drinking and driving exhibited a significantly higher degree of impulsivity.
In the second study, McCarthy and his colleagues surveyed more than 800 individuals about their drinking and driving beliefs and behaviors. The survey also assessed the degree to which they expressed impulsive characteristics such as urgency, lack of planning or perseverance, and sensation seeking. Urgency was found to be the characteristic most associated with drinking and driving.
"Our studies of urgency help explain why people end up with DWIs even though, while sober, they abhor the notion of drinking and driving," said McCarthy. "Under the influence of alcohol, some people may feel an exited emotional state and hence greater urges to act on an impulse that they would normally not condone."
McCarthy noted that alternatives to drinking and driving can take more time than some intoxicated individuals are willing to wait. Impulsive personalities, enhanced by alcohol, tend to take the short term reward of convenience and discount the risk of death or legal action. He suggests reducing wait times for taxis, public transit or other transport options could give the impatient drinker a quick and safe option to get home. City planners and policy makers could help by providing bus routes and taxi stands near drinking establishments.
The study, "Direct and Indirect Effects of Impulsivity Traits on Drinking and Driving in Young Adults," was published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. The study, "Acute alcohol effects on impulsivity: associations with drinking and driving behavior," was published in the journal Addiction.
At the University of Missouri, officials strive to end drunk driving with several programs. "Stripes" is a free taxi service coordinated by MU that provides approximately 10,000 rides per year. MU officials also have worked with the city of Columbia to increase the availability of transportation by providing taxi stands near drinking establishments frequented by students. Another program, "Cheers," provides free soda to designated drivers at most Columbia bars.
"October marked MU's 30th Annual Alcohol Responsibility Month," said Kim Dude, director of MU's Wellness Resource Center. "We presented a month of activities to educate students on how to drink and party safely."
Journal reference: Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
Provided by University of Missouri-Columbia
- Professor recommends changing drivers' perceptions of law enforcement to deter drunk driving Dec 22, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Recent decrease seen in U.S. high school drinking and driving Oct 04, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Impulsive alcoholics likely to die sooner Aug 15, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- College women who act impulsively when distressed are at risk for alcohol problems Nov 08, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Designated driver idea a problem for some Dec 02, 2005 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
21 hours ago From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
Ratio of Hydrogen of Oxygen in Dessicated Animal Protein
May 13, 2013 As an experiment, for the past few months I've been consuming at least one portion of Jell-O or unflavored Knox gelatin per day. I'm 64, in very...
Alcohol and acetaminophen
May 13, 2013 Edit: sorry for the typo in the title , can't edit I looked around on google quite a bit and it's very hard to find precise information on the...
Marie Curie's leukemia
May 13, 2013 Does anyone know what might be the cause of Marie Curie's cancer
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
Patients with treatment-resistant major depression saw dramatic improvement in their illness after treatment with ketamine, an anesthetic, according to the largest ketamine clinical trial to-date led by researchers from the ...
Psychology & Psychiatry 13 minutes ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
The latest makeover to a massive psychiatric tome honored by some, reviled by others and even called the "Bible" of mental disorders is being released Saturday with a host of new changes.
Psychology & Psychiatry 12 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—Most Medicare beneficiaries treated in inpatient psychiatric facilities (IPFs) exhibit characteristics associated with hospital readmission, according to a report prepared for the National Association ...
Psychology & Psychiatry May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Skydivers show the same level of physical stress before every jump whether a first-timer or experienced jumper, say Northumbria researchers.
Psychology & Psychiatry May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
Children of depressed parents pick up on their parents' sadness—whether mom or dad realizes their mood or not.
Psychology & Psychiatry May 17, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (2) | 1 |
Regular consumption of coffee is associated with a reduced risk of primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), an autoimmune liver disease, Mayo Clinic research shows. The findings were being presented at the Digestive Disease ...
14 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Research presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) explores new methods for managing digestive health through diet and lifestyle.
2 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
An increasing number of U.S. children are experiencing gastrointestinal issues that require interventions to resolve, according to research presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW).
14 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Big names in medicine are set to give an upbeat assessment of the war on AIDS on Tuesday, 30 years after French researchers identified the virus that causes the disease.
23 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
A new case of the deadly coronavirus has been detected in Saudi Arabia where 15 people have already died after contracting it, the health ministry announced on Saturday on its Internet website.
12 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
For combat veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, 'fear circuitry' in the brain never rests
Chronic trauma can inflict lasting damage to brain regions associated with fear and anxiety. Previous imaging studies of people with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, have shown that these brain regions can over-or ...
May 18, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |