Beer drinkers extroverts

Study reveals why beer bars are more fun than wine bars

Oct 29, 2003 - Beer drinkers, in general, are more extroverted than wine drinkers, according to a new study in Canada, and that could explain conflicting evidence about the health benefits of certain types of alcohol, such as beer versus red wine.


The scientists at the University of Manitoba's Alcohol and Tobacco Research Unit in Winnipeg found relatively distinct psychological traits when they surveyed hundreds of beer, wine and liquor afficionados. The results were published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol. Beer drinkers tended to be more extroverted and ego-driven, the wine drinkers less so, and spirits drinkers fell somewhere in between the two.

While it is clear that alcohol in general can aid cardiovascular health, the apparent advantages of one type of drink may have as much to do with the psyche of the people who consume it as the properties of the beverage itself, according to the report.

The lifestyles of the different groups add still add another factor, said Robert Murray, one of the paper's authors.

"Wine drinkers might be more sophisticated; they might be more health conscious; they might eat healthy food and exercise," he said, perhaps drawing on stereotypes as well as research. "Whereas beer drinkers and liquor drinkers are more likely to be found sitting in the pub."

The conclusions on personality were drawn from a detailed survey of 1,257 Manitoba adults.

Wine drinkers were the least extroverted and scored lowest on ego strength and on a scale measuring "sensation seeking" — a sort of quest for stimulation of some kind. Beer drinkers scored highest on extroversion, ego strength and sensation-seeking. They also scored highest on psychoticism — a tendency toward anti-social behavior.

The beer drinkers were often classified with A-type personality, considered a risk factor for heart disease, and that might explain why some research indicates beer is less beneficial to heart health than wine, Murray said.

He said the personality differences in the groups may be partly related to demographics. Wine drinkers tend to be older, female, better educated and married, while beer drinkers were more likely to be young, male, less educated and single. But the survey found similar personality differences within separate groups of males and females.

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