Study: Booze Makes Us Better Problem Solvers
Next time you’re in a jam, have a beer! A new study has shown that alcohol stimulates creative problem solving. Of course, there’s also a catch …
By Zack Zeigler
Drinking alcohol does more than just dull the agony of existence — it apparently also helps you come up with creative solutions to problems. According to a recent study, people who drank a couple pints of beer or glasses of wine before completing a series of brain teasers answered more questions correctly, and in a shorter period of time, than boring ol’ sober people.
Now, like most guys, we enjoy a good drink. But even we were surprised by the results of the study. Beer may make us better at playing beer pong and jumping off of high things, but we certainly don’t think it makes us clearer thinkers. So what’s the deal? Research suggests it has to do with the level of focus applied to a certain activity; in other words, sometimes less focus is better for coming up with unintuitive solutions. People with a BAC of .07 or higher were found to be less focused than teetotalers, which scientists think allowed the drunks to come up with “remote ideas,” or unique and unorthodox problem-solving methods. However, when it came to tasks that required more attention, like basic math, the boozers fared worse. Apparently, no matter how drunk you get, 2 + 2 never equals “Take off your shirt!”