When One Gets Tipsy, Is It the Drink or the Drunk Talking?


Did actor Mel Gibson mean it when he said, according to a sheriff's report of his arrest on suspicion of drunken driving, that “The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world”? Was this alcohol-fueled soliloquy an ugly insight into Gibson's character, or was it the tequila talking? Science has been hard at work trying to understand the how and the why of what everyone at a college mixer learns: alcohol can make people do and say stupid things. But does it make people say things that they do not believe at all, that are, as Gibson later insisted, antithetical to one's own views and faith? Experts generally suggest that the answer is “Nope,” says the New York Times.

When asked where those vicious words came from, Dr. Kevin J. Corcoran, a psychology researcher who has studied the effects of alcohol on perception and judgment, replied, simply, “his mouth.” Corcoran said comments do not spring from nothing. He added that Gibson “may not fully believe” his statements about Jews, “but they were waiting to be delivered,” once his inhibitions were lowered and he was subjected to the stress of being pulled over by the police.

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/06/weekinreview/06schwartz.html?_r=1&ref=us&oref=slogin

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