Students ‘underestimate their boozing habits’

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Students underestimate how much they drink - and see themselves as fun or energetic after boozing, according to new research.

An online survey was completed by 416 students at British universities, over two-thirds of them (68.5 per cent) female.

They were asked to compare both their consumption of alcohol and their behaviour when under the influence to that of other drinkers.

It also found that some students don't like to be associated with negative stereotypes of boozy students.

Dr Emma Davies, of Oxford Brookes University, said: "Excessive drinking is known to be an issue within student populations, and this research suggests some of the reasons for campus drinking culture and why previous intervention attempts have tended to be unsuccessful."

The greatest misperceptions were found in male students, particularly those aged 21 and under, with a significant proportion of them also reporting that their behaviour when they drank alcohol was less unruly than others.

Researchers also found they also considered themselves to be more in control of their own actions when drinking than other students.

Male students had a desire to distance themselves from negative drinking stereotypes such as loud and aggressive behaviour, with the students instead seeing themselves as fun or energetic after consuming alcohol.

Dr Davies added: "This research shows that students consistently view their behaviour whilst drinking in a positive light when compared with that of others.

"They also suggest that their own drunken behaviour is generally motivated by a desire to have fun but judge others more harshly, as deliberately aggressive or out of control.

"Future interventions aimed at reducing excessive drinking must take these factors in to account, rather than exclusively focusing on alcohol consumption, if they are to be successful."

The research was due to be presented at the British Psychological Society's annual conference in Brighton.