Researchers reviewing data collected from 19,977 married couples in one county in Norway reported that spouses who consume about the same amount of alcohol were less likely to divorce than pairs where one partner is a heavy drinker and the other is not — especially when the wife is the one doing the drinking. […] They found that divorce was generally more common in couples with high rates of alcohol consumption, but that the highest divorce rates were found in couples where only the woman was a heavy drinker.
…results contradicted the researchers’ expectations. Based on alcoholic myopia theory (a loss of memory for peripheral details), they predicted that the intoxicated participants would match the controls when the culprit was present, but would make more incorrect identifications when he was absent.
The results also clash with the common sense beliefs of the general public that drunk witnesses will be less reliable than sober witnesses. Given how common it is for witnesses to crimes to be intoxicated, there’s been surprisingly little research on how alcohol affects eyewitness performance. Sure, this study has its limitations – the alcohol levels used were only moderate and the crime wasn’t a real event – but it makes a welcome contribution to a neglected research area.