Two students plan to conduct a study at the end of March to try and increase a person’s abilities when under the influence of alcohol as a project for their statistical methods and quality systems class (ISE 412).
Jennifer Jackson and Cara Liberatti are attempting to study adults between the ages of 21 and 25 who characterize themselves as regular drinkers. The study will take place off the URI campus, either at a private home or a bar. The exact location is yet to be determined.
The study will be conducted using a pretest/posttest method. Participants will be asked to take a short test before consuming any alcohol. The test will consist of “simple math questions that anyone can answer,” Jackson stated.
The participants will then consume some type of alcoholic beverage (the exact type is not yet determined) until their Blood Alcohol Content is 0.10.
Jackson and Liberatti will then have the participants engage in a variety of different activities in an attempt to increase their functioning while under the influence of alcohol. These activities include eating a predetermined type and amount of food, drinking a predetermined amount of water, and running a quarter of a mile.
“We’ll have to expect a lot from the participants” Jackson said. “We need them to participate fully. If we want them to run a quarter mile, everyone has to do the full distance.”
After finishing the activities, each participant will then take the posttest and their scores will be compared with the pretest to determine if they are functioning at the same or lower level after the consumption of alcohol.
The purpose of this study is to attempt to find a way to make people more capable of doing tasks while under the influence of alcohol. “We want you to be able to accomplish things even after you’ve been drinking” Jackson said, “like study for tests and retain information.”
The idea for this study stemmed from the desire to make the roads a safer place. According to the Center for Disease Control, alcohol is involved in nearly one third of fatal car accidents each year. Jackson expressed her desire to help people who were in a situation involving alcohol to not be such a danger to themselves and other people.
It is their hope to find a way to actually decrease a person’s Blood Alcohol Content.
Although drunk driving was a primary inspiration for the project, Jackson and Liberatti have determined that including driving while intoxicated in the study would be too dangerous to research and will not be included.
“It seems like it would be engaging to do,” Jackson said when asked why they chose the subject. “It is something I would like to know for myself and something my friends and I would like knowing how to do.”
As alcohol is widely popular among college-aged students, this study will be highly relevant and particularly helpful in attempting to make people safer.
While she is looking forward to conducting the study, Jackson is also cautious about the results. “I’m not sure how meaningful our results are going to be” she said.
Even though it is a school assignment, Jackson is still looking forward to conducting her research. She hopes it will help improve the future and will make statistics a little more fun. “I think this is going to be a wild ride,” Jackson said.