Well, this certainly won't help convince any college students to cut down on their boozing: A new study finds that those who binge drink are happier with their social lives than those who don't—and suggests that drinking in college may be more motivated by social factors than by an actual desire to get smashed. It found that those with a higher social status (in the case of the college that was studied, students who were white, wealthy, or members of frats or sororities) were more likely to binge drink.
But the binge-drinking seemed to play a definite part in that happiness. High-status students who didn't binge drink reported being less happy socially. And low-status binge drinkers were more satisfied socially than their non-binge-drinking counterparts. "They almost seemed to move themselves up a little bit, or to put it in more efficient language, they now have higher levels of social satisfaction," the researcher who was quick to note that she thinks binge drinking "is a terrible thing," tells LiveScience. The study defined binge drinkers as those who drank four (for women) or five (for men) drinks in one sitting at least once every two weeks.