In the 2015 Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) Annual Alcohol Poll, 34 per cent of Australians said that they drink to get drunk, 43 per cent said they had vomited as a result of drinking, and 75 per cent said Australia has a problem with excess drinking or alcohol abuse.
But in the same poll 92 per cent of Australians identified themselves as responsible drinkers.
As the young people might say, what the..?
A majority of Australians agree that we have a problem with alcohol. But almost all drinkers say it’s not a problem of theirs – it’s a problem other people have, that exists somewhere outside of their world.
There are both contradictions and abstractions in this discussion. But it makes perfect sense to me.
It’s simply easier to say that others are flawed, than admit that perhaps you might be the one who is flawed. Psychologists refer to it as the self-serving or positivity bias, and it’s the only way to protect our “fragile ego from the blows of reality” and to reconcile our often contradictory behaviour in a complex world. Continue reading