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What Determines Your "Drunken Identity"?

An expert explains why you tend to make a complete fool of yourself while your friend is able to stay calm and collected during a night out on the town.

Factor #1: Your (Sober) Personality

“Like any drug, alcohol affects your behavior, but it doesn’t introduce behaviors that aren’t already present,” Gowin says. Translation: If you become mean or affectionate while drunk, those responses are exaggerated reflections of your usual personality traits, he says. There’s some research that alcohol dulls the activity in your brain’s prefrontal cortex, which has been linked to self-control and self-reflection, Gowin explains. So the more wasted you get, the more impulsive and unaware you become. He compares the drunk brain to a car that’s been stripped of its brakes. “Normally, you would slow yourself down or realize that your actions or reactions aren’t appropriate. But when you’re drunk, that doesn’t happen.”

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