London: Do you often drive back home on your own at dangerous speed after a bout of drinking? You must be drinking alone most of the time. According to a new study, those who drink alone are more prone to risky behaviour than those who drink moderately in a group.
“Social interaction in groups can reduce the tendency of individual drinkers to accept risks,” said psychologist Tim Hopthrow from University of Kent in Britain in a study.
"Alcohol consumers accepted more risk when deciding alone but the least risk when deciding as a group," he added.
"We think that this is because drinkers in groups monitor one another closely, becoming more cautious when directly asked whether to take a risk,” Hopthrow said.
The study involved 101 participants aged between 18-30 who were in groups.
The researchers compared groups of people who were just under the drunk-driving limit with groups that had not consumed any alcohol.
“We know that individuals are more likely to engage in risky behaviour when they are intoxicated, whether it be having unprotected sex, or engaging in violent or other criminal activity,” Rose Meleady from University of East Anglia in Britain noted.
“This research demonstrates that drinking as part of a social group may mitigate the effects of alcohol consumption on risk-taking,” Meleady concluded in the study published in the journal Addiction.