Many of us have found ourselves at one time or another drafting great new ideas and inventions after having a drink or two. Now, alcohol consumption can take the credit for our ingenious. We all have read the studies and been told the facts of the detrimental side effects alcohol can have on our bodies. But, Andrew Jarosz and his colleagues have recently conducted the first study to determine if alcohol can actually have something other than only adverse effects, especially in terms of intelligence.
The study involved 40 "social drinking" men, half of whom were treated with enough vodka and cranberry juice to reach a 0.075 BAC (most states list their BAC driving limit at 0.08, in the range of two or three beers within an hour for most people), the other 20 men remained sober. The participants were given 15 brainteasers that relied on non-linear thinking. The results are surprising:
- The intoxicated participants scored on average 8.7 correct answers, while the sober men answered only 6.3 answers correctly on average. That's about 40% more correct answeres than their sober counterparts.
- Jarosz and his colleagues also found the intoxicated participants answered almost four seconds per question quicker than those who were sober.
The study showed that alcohol increases impulsivity, which helps in creativity. “If your goal is to get to more remote or less accessible ideas, alcohol might help you in that situation,” says Jarosz.
While a cranberry vodka probably won't help you ace the LSAT, perhaps businesses and artists should reconsider their approaches to creating new material. After all, crazy sells.