Beer makes you SMRT

by Featured, Recent Studies

Every drunk will tell you, you’re better at something when you’re a little drunk. I claim this every time I play darts. I get better for a few beers, then everything goes to heck around beer four. Well that’s probablyanecdotal, but most people will swear to this. Especially after four beers when they are losing.

empty beers

I'm going to be a Nobel laureate tonight!

Now there’s research showing you might actually be smarter and more creative after a few beers. Psychologists Andrew F. Jarosz, Gregory J.H. Colflesh, and Jennifer Wiley at the University of Illinois at Chicago tested alcohol’s affect on creativity and found surprising results.

“We found at 0.07 blood alcohol, people were worse at working memory tasks, but they were better at creative problem-solving tasks,” psychologist Jennifer Wiley reported on the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences (FABBS) site.

First they got half of their 40 male subjects a bit tipsy, around the 0.075 sweet spot for peak intoxication. This was two pints. Then they administered a Remote Associates Test (RAT). A RAT test gives the subject (read: human lab rat) three words, and the subject has to determine the word the three items have in common. For example for the three words “salt deep foam”, the answer would be “sea” (sea salt, deep sea, sea foam).

The tipsy group solved 40% more problems than the sober group. The tipsy group was also faster, solving their problems on average 12 seconds compared to a sober 15.5 seconds.

The assumption is a few beers can be better for problem solving. Alcohol helps you ignore some things and focus on others, which helps spur creativity. That or beer makes you really good at word problems.


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DJ Spiess

DJ Spiess

Beer buddy

I live in Denver, Colorado. This blog is everything about beer, wine, cider, mead and other spirits.
I am a avid homebrewer and winemaker. I’ve been making my own beer and wine for many years. I started making beer when I was in college (mostly because the drinking age in the United States is 21). My first few beers were horrible. The beers are much better now, and I often supply my neighborhood with free beer! It is a great hobby!