Can alcohol release the 'beast within' in spiritual people

August 11, 2014

Often, research findings reflect the scientist's and the public's expectations. Sometimes, they come close. Other times, research results simply astound everyone.

Case in point is the recent research of Professor Peter R. Giancola of the psychology department of the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences. He, and his former , Aaron Duke, have found an unexpected relation between spiritual beliefs, violence and .

"Oversimplifying—in many cases the more religious someone is, the more aggressive they will become after ," Giancola said.

The researcher defined religiosity as someone who "finds meaning in the sacred," regardless of the doctrine they follow.

Pointing out that his findings are preliminary and require more study, Giancola said that he was originally trying to create a profile of risk factors to predict alcohol-related violence.

This preliminary study contained 520 subjects ranging in age from 21-35 from the Lexington and Central Kentucky region. After determining each individual's degree of spiritual belief, subjects received an alcohol or non-.

As would be expected, results of the study indicated that violence decreased as spirituality increased in persons who received the non-alcohol beverage. However, quite unexpectedly, violence actually increased as spirituality increased in persons who received the alcohol beverage.

These counter-intuitive findings clearly require replication, Giancola said, however, they indicate that alcohol "releases the best within" in highly spiritual persons, though the reasons for this still remain unknown.

Explore further: Aggressive behaviour increases adolescent drinking, depression doesn't

Related Stories

Aggressive behaviour increases adolescent drinking, depression doesn't

August 6, 2014
Adolescents who behave aggressively are more likely to drink alcohol and in larger quantities than their peers, according to a recent study completed in Finland. Depression and anxiety, on the other hand, were not linked ...

Perspective: Balancing alcohol consumption in our ageing population

August 7, 2014
When it comes to alcohol consumption, the drinking habits of young people tend to attract the most attention.

Study finds link between alcohol use and domestic violence

January 27, 2014
Alcohol use is more likely than marijuana use to lead to violence between partners, according to studies done at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Excessive drinking causes one in ten adult deaths, CDC reports

June 26, 2014
Excessive alcohol consumption causes one in 10 deaths among US adults, whether because of accidents or medical conditions that arise from long-term drinking, research showed Thursday.

Women in military less likely to drink than civilian women

July 31, 2014
While it is known that members of the U.S. military overall are more likely to use alcohol, a new study finds that female enlistees and female veterans are actually less likely to drink than their civilian counterparts. This ...

Over 45s drink more frequently than young women

June 3, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—They don't tend to binge drink but middle-aged women over 45 consume alcohol more frequently than any other age group, a behaviour putting their long-term health at risk, according to QUT researcher Hanna ...

Recommended for you

Perceiving oneself as less physically active than peers is linked to a shorter lifespan

July 20, 2017
Would you say that you are physically more active, less active, or about equally active as other people your age?

Study examines effects of stopping psychiatric medication

July 20, 2017
Despite numerous obstacles and severe withdrawal effects, long-term users of psychiatric drugs can stop taking them if they choose, and mental health care professionals could be more helpful to such individuals, according ...

New study suggests that reduced insurance coverage for mental health treatment increases costs for the seriously ill

July 19, 2017
Higher out-of-pocket costs for mental health care could have the unintended consequence of increasing the use of acute and involuntary mental health care among those suffering from the most debilitating disorders, a Harvard ...

Old antibiotic could form new depression treatment

July 19, 2017
An antibiotic used mostly to treat acne has been found to improve the quality of life for people with major depression, in a world-first clinical trial conducted at Deakin University.

Wonder why those happy memories fade? You're programmed that way

July 19, 2017
We'll always have Paris." Or will we?

A child's spoken vocabulary helps them when it comes to reading new words for the first time

July 19, 2017
Children find it easier to spell a word when they've already heard it spoken, a new study led by researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders (CCD) at Macquarie University has found. The findings ...

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

RobertKarlStonjek
5 / 5 (1) Aug 12, 2014
There appears to be an error in the test. They say that violence increases with spirituality for those who received alcohol and but then say in the next sentence that the alcohol "releases the best in persons of high spirituality."

It probably should be 'beast' and not 'best'.

Found the original article and it is indeed 'beast within'

http://uknow.uky....l-people
RobertKarlStonjek
5 / 5 (1) Aug 12, 2014
The most logical explanation is that the more spiritual individuals exert more self discipline, especially with regard to violence. As alcohol effects self discipline (self imposed inhibition) a rebound effect occurs when this constraint is loosened.

The more tightly the bind, the bigger the rebound.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.