Med thumb cute old man drinking

(Sorry, this isn’t a Buzzfeed-style quiz. We’re actually going to discuss the science of drunk personality types.)

Watching an overwhelming amount of television has taught me that, as a rule, there are four types of people in this world. You’re a Carrie or a Peggy or a Matt Saracen or a Hannibal. It doesn’t matter if your personality doesn’t neatly match up; just choose one and make it work.

If you’d prefer scientific support over a TV-based rule of four, good news: A recent study from the University of Missouri-Columbia has identified four discrete drunk personalities.

As reported by the British Psychological Society Research Digest blog, 374 students took a personality test, two times each. First they assessed their sober selves. Then, they described the people they become when picklebacks enter the equation.

After analyzing students’ self-assessments, researchers concluded there are four types of drunk:

  • Hemingways, like the famously cogent alky author, hold it together better than the rest of us. They can pound drinks and still debate labor theory, without running any risk of turning into the girl you wish you hadn't started a conversation with at a party.  
  • Nutty Professors are weekend warriors, the typically shy Mr. Saturday Nights who come alive with social lubrication. These introverts-turned-extroverts exhibit the most drastic personality about-faces as a result of boozing.
  • Mary Poppinses are happy drunks — highly agreeable both when they’re sober and sauced.
  • Mr. Hydes are the incoherent jerks at the bar who spend too many Sunday mornings composing “Hey, sorry about last night…” texts.

More than half of the female participants fell into the Mr. Hydes category, whose members also reported more negative alcohol-related experiences (e.g., regrettable sex, higher alcohol cravings). Mary Poppinses, by contrast, appeared to deal with the least booze-induced disasters.

Researchers didn’t find a link between binge-drinking and any of the drunk personas.

Categorization depended on self-assessments, plus one buddy-rating per person. Interestingly, these third-party assessments didn’t produce the same tidy, four-quadrant portrait of drunkenness. But, as the BPS noted, external ratings from sober people may gloss over subtle but relevant personality shifts. Future research may be able to reconcile the differences between self- and external perspectives.