According to a study that was conducted by a group of researchers from the University of Illinois, drinking beer can make you smarter. After getting their subjects drunk, cognitive psychologist Jennifer Wiley and her team came to this realization. Interesting, right?
Proponents of the said study tested the creative problem-solving skills of their drunken participants and compared it to their performance before getting intoxicated.
To reach this surprising conclusion, they have devised a bar game and invited 40 men to participate in the said activity. Each man was given 3 words and was asked to come up with a 4th word, making sure that the new word fits the pattern.
For example, the three words are: cottage, blue and mozzarella. The word cheese goes with the given words.
Wiley reported on the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences’ site that participants who have a blood alcohol level of 0.07 were better at creative-solving tasks compared to their sober counterparts. As a matter of fact, the drunken ones were able to solve 40% more problems. However, they are worse at working memory tasks.
Additionally, drinkers were able to finish their problems within 12 seconds; while non-drinkers took 15.5 seconds. This is because alcohol helps people access their remote ideas – ideas that are developed through association.
As the researchers asked the participants to think of a word that goes with the words cottage, blue and mozzarella, they’ll be accessing their remote ideas to come up with the word cheese.
Contrary to the belief that alcohol muddies the mind and hinders analytical thinking, it actually makes you smarter. We’re not surprised why raving drunks like Charles Bukowski, John Cheever and Ernest Hemingway were able to write their books.
Sometimes, it’s good to be distracted. And sometimes, the really creative stuff comes out while enjoying a bottle of beer.