io9 recently dove into a question that drinkers have been debating for centuries; do different types of booze lead to different types of drunkenness?
According to the Alcohol Is Alcohol argument, 80-proof tequila should have the same effect on you as 80-proof vodka, rum, gin or whiskey. Yet we all know someone who insists that tequila makes them wild, that whiskey makes them angry, or that gin makes them sad. Why is that?
While mixers and congeners (look it up) may yield a positive answer to the question, there’s a simpler explanation. It’s all in your head:
“A lot of this is folk memories and cultural hangovers,” says pharmacologist Paul Clayton, former Senior Scientific Advisor to the UK government’s Committee on the Safety of Medicines, in an interview with The Guardian.
The psychosocial explanation for alcohol’s differential behavioral outcomes closely resembles the results of studies on alcohol expectancy effects, which examine not only the way people behave when they’ve ingested alcohol, but how they behave when they think they’ve ingested alcohol.
[I]f you whole-heartedly believe that a tequila shot is your one-way ticket to Bedlamtown, there’s probably not a whole lot that can be said to convince you – or your body – otherwise.
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