It’s well-documented that students who binge drink tend to have lower grade point averages and focus less on academics than students who don’t.
“The authors of a new paper addressing this question did indeed find that many students who binge drank over their four years in college had “significantly lower” critical thinking skills upon graduating than did those who didn’t binge drink. But that was true only for students who enrolled with already comparatively low critical thinking ability.
“Those are the students that we really want to gain from college, and if binge drinking gets in the way of that, then I think that creates a real problem,” said Teniell L. Trolian, a paper co-author and doctoral student in higher education and student affairs at the University of Iowa. “That’s where the real effect is. So I think prevention educators and other administrators on campus who are trying to assist students to be academically successful and attain all of the cognitive outcomes that we expect of college — I think that would be a great place to focus their efforts.”
“Trolian and her co-authors, the Iowa education professors Ernest T. Pascarella and Brian P. An, are presenting their paper at this week’s annual conference of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, in St. Louis. They sought to examine the link between binge drinking and critical thinking because although the latter is now considered one of the most important outcomes of higher education, it hadn’t been the subject of such research. Continue reading “Binge drinking and critical thinking abilities”