It is common knowledge that alcohol impairs judgement – if consumed in sufficient quantity.
However, a recent study published by the University of Illinois in Chicago claims that drinking only a few beers may, in fact, make men more intelligent.
The researchers who conducted the study devised a game for participants comprised of word association.
Half the participants in the study drank two pints of beer before answering questions, while the other half abstained.
The participants were asked to answer a range of questions, such as finding a word to fit a particular pattern; for example, blue, cottage, Swiss [cheese].
The results of the test were quite interesting to say the least. Participants who consumed two pints of beer finished their problems in a cool 12 seconds, compared to non-drinkers who required 15.5 seconds.
“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 explained.
“We have this assumption, that being able to focus on one part of a problem or having a lot of expertise is better for problem solving,” she continued. “But that’s not necessarily true. Innovation may happen when people are not so focused. Sometimes it’s good to be distracted.”
The study participants who drank beer also solved 40% more of the problems posed to them compared to non-drinkers. “Sometimes the really creative stuff comes out when you’re having a glass of wine over dinner, or when you’re taking a shower,” Wiley added.