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    Functional Benefits of (Modest) Alcohol Consumption

    Dunbar, R.I.M. and Launay, Jacques and Wlodarski, Rafael and Robertson, Cole and Pearce, Eiluned and Carney, James and MacCarron, Pádraig (2017) Functional Benefits of (Modest) Alcohol Consumption. Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology, 3. pp. 118-133. ISSN 2198-7335

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    Alcohol use has a long and ubiquitous history. Despite considerable researchon the misuse of alcohol, no one has ever asked why it might have become universallyadopted, although the conventional view assumes that its only benefit is hedonic. Incontrast, we suggest that alcohol consumption was adopted because it has socialbenefits that relate both to health and social bonding. We combine data from a nationalsurvey with data from more detailed behavioural and observational studies to show thatsocial drinkers have more friends on whom they can depend for emotional and othersupport, and feel more engaged with, and trusting of, their local community. Alcohol isknown to trigger the endorphin system, and the social consumption of alcohol may thushave the same effect as the many other social activities such as laughter, singing anddancing that we use as a means of servicing and reinforcing social bonds.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Social drinking; Social bonding; Happiness; Social networks; Conversational behaviour;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > Research Institutes > An Foras Feasa
    Item ID: 11646
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: IR Editor
    Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2019 14:58
    Journal or Publication Title: Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology
    Publisher: Springer
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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