The Null Device

Drunk is a state of mind

Researchers at Victoria University in New Zealand have found that being drunk is partly in the mind. A group of students were given water to drink in a pub-like environment; half were told it was vodka, and the other half were told the truth. The candidates were then shown slides of a crime and asked to assess a story full of misleading information. The students who thought they were drinking vodka had poorer memory and were more suggestible and less reliable as witnesses.

(Which shows that if you believe (from external evidence) that you should be drunk or perceptually impaired, your brain will go out of its way to induce this state, to the point of subconsciously degrading your perception appropriately. Which makes one wonder: what proportion of people's inabilities to achieve various things is the result of suggestion or conditioning, with no physical basis?)

There are 5 comments on "Drunk is a state of mind":

Posted by: toby http:// Wed Jan 8 01:48:12 2003

Of course, anyone who couldn't tell the difference between water and vodka must presumably have been partaking of something else beforehand.

Posted by: billy http:// Wed Jan 8 04:57:58 2003

death is part of mental conditioning.

Posted by: Neko http:// Wed Jan 8 13:23:26 2003

My suspicion is that the mob who could be tricked into thinking water was vodka weren't the sharpest pencils in the set, and probably wouldn't do well on the test when told they were drinking water.

Posted by: Graham Wed Jan 8 14:01:32 2003

On the other hand, I doubt if you were physically drunk, you could think yourself sober in order to drive home.

Posted by: Robyn Sat Mar 21 02:38:04 2009

They are all plainly nutters for partaking in this test originally.. can't you see this??