What if drinking beer in responsible amounts could increase mental clarity? A study conducted by researchers at the University of Graz in Austria have released their findings on the subject. The results may surprise you. They make the claim that mild alcohol intoxication can improve mental clarity and spark creative thought. in the conclusion of the study they report,
“Our study corroborates the notion that small attenuations of cognitive control may facilitate certain aspects of creative cognition while not affecting others. It contributes to our understanding of the interplay between controlled and spontaneous processes in creative thought and of their relative importance in different types of creative cognition. The findings, however, should not be overgeneralized by assuming that creativity is generally supported by alcohol. Beneficial effects are likely restricted to very modest amounts of alcohol, whereas excessive alcohol consumption typically impairs creative productivity”
How did they conduct the study? Seventy volunteers between the ages of 19 and 32 were given both alcohol-free and regular beer before taking a series of tests. The experiment showed volunteers performing better on a word problem test after drinking a pint of beer than they did after drinking the non-alcoholic drinks. However, researchers did note that memory and concentration issues were apparent during other specific skill tests. According to the experimental design and procedure section of the study,
“Participants were asked not to consume alcohol or other drugs 24h before the experiment and not to eat and drink caffeinated drink 2h before the experiment. They were tested in groups of two people, who were randomly assigned to the experimental groups (1 alcohol and 1 placebo). The participants were blind to the experimental condition, and the employed group setting was intended to avoid any experimenter effects.”
When I read the study I found it interesting to say the least. I know there are men’s ears perking up all around the world at the notion that drinking beer may make you think clearer, but remember. the beneficial dose seemed to be one pint. I wouldn’t recommend drinking before work or school either. That wouldn’t be responsible. However, science seems to support the fact that a pint of beer may help clean up the mental cobwebs a bit. So the next time asks you why you are so smart tell them that you like beer. They may look at you funny but then send them the link to this article. I don’t know how many employers would invest research into the benefits of having a beer on lunch break but I think that maybe the men should rally for the data. One could imagine that there is nothing like tuning out an annoying coworker after knocking back your favorite IPA at the bar down the road. Maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get some chewing gum though. Also don’t be an idiot. Drink responsibly and don’t operate motor vehicles after consuming alcohol.