Social behavior and alcohol use

You know. You have decided not to drink. Or at least not too much. As soon as you say 'no', the commentary will not go away. That you shouldn't be so stupid and that one isn't so bad after all. There is a good chance that sooner or later you will go for the axe. It has everything to do with imitation behavior.

During a study 'social behavior and alcohol use', which Martine Groefsema conducted with her colleagues from Radbout University in Nijmegen, she discovered that people unconsciously adapt their drinking behavior to that of another. While she actually researched whether seeing pictures of alcohol led to more drinking.

Just to clarify: seeing pictures of alcohol has no influence on drinking more alcohol. What does have an influence is the behavior of others. During the study, a 'participant', in reality an actor, raised a glass with a number of real subjects. This actor drank, depending on the participant, one or three beers. Most subjects drank, presumably without realizing it, as much as the actor. The actor didn't push the contestants, but simply asked them "if she wanted a drink too," because "he grabbed a beer." The researchers concluded from this that people adapted to the drinking behavior of the other without coercion.

The above situation is an example of unconscious imitative behaviour. But sometimes you are deliberately persuaded. Or do you want someone to drink with you ('Ah, have one', 'You're not a boring sock', 'Just let yourself go'). Why do we do that? Although this has not been studied, it is easily explained. Because we are used to imitating each other. And if someone doesn't join in, you feel a bit rejected.

We also link alcohol to conviviality within our culture. So if you don't drink along, you're unsociable. Hardly anyone wants to be that. People want to be liked and to belong. Source:

Want to fit in, but don't want to drink alcohol?

Tip from researcher Martine Groefsema

Drink something non-alcoholic from the same glass or bottle as your alcohol drinking family/friends. The benefits, not the burdens.

At IkPas we are not necessarily against zero point zeros. If it works for you, then it works. However, we do add a critical remark. Curious about our motives? Then read this article.



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