Beer makes men smarter: study
Males solve brain teasers better after consuming alcohol, researchers say
Beer makes men smarter.
So say researchers at the University of Illinois in Chicago.
They found that men with a couple beers under their belts were actually better at solving brain-teasers than their sober counterparts.
To reach that surprising conclusion, the researchers devised a bar game in which 40 men were given three words and told to come up with a fourth that fits the pattern.
For example, the word â€œcheeseâ€ could fit with words like â€œblueâ€ or â€œcottageâ€ or â€œSwiss.â€
Half the players were given two pints. The other half got nothing.
The result? Those who imbibed solved 40% more of the problems that their sober counterparts.
Also, the drinkers finished their problems in 12 seconds while it took the non-drinkers 15.5 seconds.
â€œWe found at 0.07 blood alcohol, people were worse at working memory tasks, but they were better at creative problem-solving tasks,â€ psychologist Jennifer Wiley reported on the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences (FABBS) site.
Wiley conceded that her findings run counter to popular belief that alcohol hinders analytical thinking and muddies the mind.
â€œWe 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,â€ says Wiley. â€œBut thatâ€™s not necessarily true. Innovation may happen when people are not so focused. Sometimes itâ€™s good to be distracted.â€
It may also help explain why raving drunks like Ernest Hemingway, John Cheever or Charles Bukowski were able to write their books.
â€œSometimes the really creative stuff comes out when youâ€™re having a glass of wine over dinner, or when youâ€™re taking a shower,â€ Wiley said.
DRINKING IN MODERATION TIP
Researchers also found that men are more likely to solve a problem when working in groups of three rather than two.
â€œIn groups of two, we tend to be more polite, not to confront or ask questions,â€ Wiley said. â€œBut when you respond to a question in a group of three, youâ€™re not confronting, youâ€™re speaking up for the whole group.â€
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