Angry Drunks

We all love a cheap beer, especially in New York. But what if low prices lead to more violence-related injuries? A new study from Applied Economics suggests this is indeed the case.

Using five years of data from 58 hospital emergency departments in England and Wales, researchers from Cardiff University's Violence and Society Research Group found that the higher the price of beer, the lower the rate of violence-related injuries.

If you ever get drunk with Irish guys, these results probably aren't too surprising. Still, the question of why alcohol spurs violence in some but not others is an interesting one. Mind Hacks suggests three theories of why alcohol and violence are linked:
  • because of the drug's effects on the brain [what effects, exactly, they don't explain. nor why these neuronal interactions would differ between individuals...]
  • because people use alcohol as an excuse for violent behavior
  • because people who use alcohol might be more likely to be violent, perhaps due to personality factors like sensation-seeking, impulsivity or risk-taking.

Anyway, alcohol's not the only culprit. The study found several others factors that independently correlated with increased hospital visits, including poverty, unemployment, major sporting events, and the summer months. (Which reminds me--Who's ready for summer at the beer garden?!)

And I don't know the man in this photo. It came up, quite appropriately, from my Google Image search for "angry drunk."

(Hat tip, Mind Hacks)

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