What People Drink and Where They Drink It Can Inform Us About Their Personality


  • Peter K. Jonason University of Padua, Padova, Italy; University of Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski, Warsaw, Poland
  • Daniel Talbot University of Notre Dame, Sydney, Australia
  • Joel Anderson Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Australia; La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia


alcohol; Big Five; life satisfaction; resilience; hopelessness


Folk wisdom and research on personality inferences suggest one should be able to judge a person's personality based on their behaviour related to alcohol consumption. In a sample of Australians (N = 1,232), we compared the utility of knowing where and what people prefer to consume alcohol to understand people's personality (broadly construed). Where people drank had limited utility; predicting hopelessness in those who drank at home more than at a licensed venue and the consumption of spirits for those high in extraversion at a licensed venue. In contrast, there were several differences in people's personality across drink preferences. For example, neuroticism was higher in cider and spirit drinkers than beer and wine drinkers. Results are framed within the personality inference literature and qualified by (1) the traditional beer-drinking culture of our sample and (2) the complex relationships between personality and any behaviour, including habits surrounding alcohol consumption.