Beer goggles be damned. According to a new study, men are actually a little smarter when they have a buzz. Now, before you go thinking you could be the next Ernest Hemingway, this research isn't saying you're smarter when you're as drunk as he was. CBS News explains the study:
"Half of the subjects were told to watch an animated movie while being given snacks and enough vodka cranberry drinks to give them a blood alcohol level of 0.075, just below the legal limit of 0.08. The other group had to watch the same movie without any treats."
Time out. Can we just acknowledge how great is it that the researchers' drink of choice was a vodka cranberry? Just a group of dudes, watching cartoons, eating Goldfish, and drinking vodka-crans. Okay, time in:
"Then, everyone was asked to finish problem-solving brain teasers. Tests included seeing a group of words and finding a fourth word that would fit with the previous words. One question asked what word works with peach, arm and tar. Another asked which word matched with blue, cottage and Swiss."
Maybe it's because I'm sober, but it took me awhile to get that first teaser. Or maybe it's because I have a lady brain, which these researchers didn't bother measuring. (I mean, real women don't get drunk or solve problems, right, ladies?) Here were the results for men:
"Astonishingly, those in the drinking group averaged nine correct questions to the six answers correct by the non-drinking group. It also took drunk men 11.5 seconds to answer a question, whereas non-drunk men needed 15.2 seconds to think. Both groups had comparable results on a similar exam before the alcohol consumption began."
So maybe it's not so much that drinking increases intelligence as much as it decreases the amount of time you think before reacting to things. My mostly-sober editor here at Nerve also wonders if the fact that snacks are given out with the drinks is good science. The snacks (and the cranberry juice) would raise participants' blood-sugar levels, which could be having just as much of an effect on their performance as the booze. Still, this study could be useful information. Next time a drunk guy is bothering me, I'll just give him an analogy, and he'll get the message quicker. Cheap beer :: PBR as not interested :: me.