Researchers tested 20 men using a “moderate” amount of vodka mixed with cranberry juice, cutting the volunteers off when their blood alcohol level reached 0.075 percent (or just below the legal limit in the United States).
The study, called “Uncorking the Muse,” is detailed in the journal Consciousness and Cognition. Researchers administered a word association test to a group of 20 sober men and to a second group of 20 guys drinking vodka cranberries. Both groups sat through an animated movie while the alcohol set in. When given the test afterwards, the men were presented with three words and then asked to come up with a fourth word that formed a phrase with each example.
On average, sober men took 15.4 seconds to come up with the correct response. The men who drank vodka, on the other hand, only needed 11.5 seconds. It’s possible that “a moderate buzz loosens a man’s focus of attention, thus making it easier to find connections among remotely related ideas,” says Bryan Nelson at the Mother Nature Network.
Another explanation is that intoxication might aid “verbal creativity partly by lowering the ability to control one’s thoughts,” making the test subjects less afraid to make mistakes. For others, it’s another nice excuse to have a drink.
Image: Party Digest