Even moderate alcohol use reduces ability to think ahead

“Even a moderate level of intoxication impairs the ability to use episodic foresight in a functionally adaptive way.” - Journal of Psychopharmacology

Discussion

The "moderate dose" is 0.6g/kg. For someone at about 180 lbs or 80kg, this would be 48 grams of alcohol, or about three and a half drinks, or a blood alcohol content of about 0.07%. The legal limit for driving in the U.S. is generally only 0.08%, and is close to the level of "binge drinking".

I don't know why it is, but every single study I've seen in this area uses a definition of "moderate drinking" that at least comes close to this level. It's really deceptive, and I dare suggest it's a "finger on the scale" that comes about because it's the level you need to see statistically significant effects without a huge sample size (and expensive experiment), and nobody gets their doctorate, tenure, or that big promotion by retaining the null hypothesis.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Bert Perry wrote: I don't know why it is, but every single study I've seen in this area uses a definition of "moderate drinking" that at least comes close to this level. It's really deceptive, and I dare suggest it's a "finger on the scale" that comes about because it's the level you need to see statistically significant effects without a huge sample size (and expensive experiment), and nobody gets their doctorate,

Part of the perennial, progressive war on alcohol. I don't fully get it either, but they have a pretty long pedigree of this (see some of Chesterton's essays, Graham Greene, etc).



Oh, they'll drink it on a personal level, but they'll do their darndest to restrict it by legislation and make people feel guilty about it.



My personal theory is because they hate seeing joy and gladness among the plebes, even if it's just artificial.

Another quote from the article:

“These data provide the first empirical evidence that the ability to use episodic foresight in a functionally adaptive way is compromised in the context of acute alcohol intoxication, and that these effects are equally deleterious for males and females… Even moderate acute alcohol use may lead to suboptimal decision-making and increased risk-taking, as well as a range of well-documented functional problems.” Thanks for this information.

This study reminds me of Proverbs 22:3, A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished.

Also, Proverbs 27:12 NKJV.

David R. Brumbelow

Wally, what's so "astounding" to you about the fact that some people actually read the abstract of the linked paper and figure out that what they actually proved was quite different than what they claimed to do? Are you going to tell me that there's no difference between having one drink, and having three or four? Police officers around the world would beg to differ as they arrest thousands for drunken driving!

Put in a different way, what would you say if a paper came out about "moderate" use of, say, casseroles typically served at Baptist church potlucks, and they found a correlation between various medical conditions and the intake of 10000 calories worth of Ms Ethel's tuna cheese casserole? Don't you think it might be fair to say that no sane person eats the whole 9x13" pan of it? That nobody calls that "moderate" use of the potluck?

To draw another picture, when I was young, people liked to crack a joke about what the difference was between a dog a fox. The answer was "about three drinks". (or four, or five, depending on who was telling it) So in a manner of speaking, what the researchers have done is provide evidence for what every college partier for the past century or so has known; that people start to make really bad decisions when they start to drink heavily. (or, really, any reader of Proverbs 23!)

I would also hope that even diehard teetotalers would object to the use of government funding to prove something so obvious, and to the possibility that people are getting their doctorates, professorships, and tenure by proving the obvious. I would also hope that even diehard teetotalers would object to the rhetorical sleight of hand in calling a BAC of about 0.07% or so "moderate" drinking.

Perhaps I shall be disappointed.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Are we reading the same article or is it just me? The title of the article says "Even moderate alcohol use reduces ability to think ahead" but the Journal of Psychopharmacology says “Even a moderate level of intoxication impairs the ability to use episodic foresight in a functionally adaptive way.” - I looked up the definition of intoxication - "affected by alcohol or drugs especially to the point where physical and mental control is markedly diminished. especially : drunk". The article starts out by saying, "Episodic foresight is impaired following acute alcohol intoxication". Is "acute alcohol intoxication" what we are talking about? Under conclusions it says, "Even a moderate level of intoxication impairs the ability to use episodic foresight. . ."

Sounds to me like it's talking about drunkenness.

Richard E Brunt

Richard, then we would ask ourselves the question; we start with the question of whether "intoxication" would lead to a loss of foresight, and then we review the definition "affected....to the point where physical and mental control is markedly diminished."

We find, again, that the study attempts to prove a tautology. Does no one in the funding agencies know any logic? Should the taxpayer not be offended at this use of government funds? Shouldn't parents be terrified that their children will be taught by up and coming professors who got their doctorates or tenure by....demonstrating a tautology, and in doing so doing rhetorical sleight of hand?

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.