Booze Is Tricky, We Are Stupid

“To put it very simply, the experiments show that when people think they are drinking alcohol, they behave according to their cultural beliefs about the behavioural effects of alcohol.”
—This BBC article about the placebo effects of alcohol also doubles as the interesting argument that alcohol-label warnings are themselves self-fulfilling “prophecies” for what they intend to discourage — i.e., that the warning “three beers can lead to anti-social, aggressive and violent behaviour” is essentially backward permission for people to act nuts after three beers, because it’s expected. The author argues that creating an identical warning about coffee (that three cups of coffee “can lead to anti-social, aggressive and violent behaviour”) would similarly bring on mad coffee binges after which young people would “rampage around town centres being anti-social, getting into fights and having unprotected sex in random one-night stands.” Hm. Well, do they make anything with coffee and Campari? Diana?! [Via]

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