Alcohol & Creativity

Discussion in 'Men's Health Forum' started by Michael Scally MD, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. #1
    Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine

    Vodka delivers shot of creativity
    A boozy glow may trigger problem-solving insights
    Vodka Delivers Shot Of Creativity - Science News

    Getting a buzz from booze may boost creativity. Men who drank themselves tipsy solved more problems demanding verbal resourcefulness in less time than sober guys did, a new study finds.

    Sudden, intuitive insights into tricky word-association problems occurred more frequently when men were intoxicated but not legally drunk, say psychology graduate student Andrew Jarosz of the University of Illinois at Chicago and his colleagues. Sober men took a more deliberative approach to this task.

    A moderate alcoholic high loosens a person’s focus of attention, making it easier to find connections among remotely related ideas, the scientists propose online January 28 in Consciousness and Cognition.

    In the study, 20 social drinkers watched an animated movie while eating a snack. Volunteers then drank enough of a vodka cranberry drink to reach an average peak blood alcohol level of 0.075 percent, just below the current 0.08 percent cutoff for legal intoxication in the United States. Another 20 social drinkers watched the same movie without eating or drinking.

    Men in both groups then completed a creative problem-solving task. For each of 15 items, volunteers saw three words — say,peach, arm and tar — and had to think of a fourth word that forms a phrase with each of them, such as pit.

    On average, participants at peak intoxication solved about nine problems correctly, versus approximately six winners for the sober crowd. It took an average of 11.5 seconds for intoxicated men to generate a correct solution, compared with 15.2 seconds for sober men.

    Both groups performed comparably on the test before the study began.

    Jarosz and University of Illinois psychologist Jennifer Wiley, a study coauthor, suspect their finding applies to musical and artistic inspiration. “A composer or artist fixated on previous work may indeed find creative benefits from intoxication,” they say.

    Other preliminary evidence – some from the Chicago team — finds a creative bump from additional approaches to broadening attention’s scope, such as watching a mood-enhancing movie or using biofeedback to reach a relaxed mental state.

    Jarosz’s team offers an intriguing glimpse at how an alcoholic buzz prompts intuitive insights into problems that require searching pre-existing knowledge, says psychologist Mark Beeman of Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. Further studies with intoxicated volunteers should employ complex problems that require information gathering and recognition of novel patterns, key features of many real-life problems, Beeman suggests.

    Intoxication may aid verbal creativity partly by lowering the ability to control one’s thoughts, comments psychologist J. Scott Saults of the University of Missouri in Columbia. He and his colleagues have found that alcohol reduces recall of sequences of sounds and images but leaves working memory unaffected.

    Sault’s team has also reported that intoxicated individuals become less afraid to make mistakes, another possible creativity booster.


    Jarosz AF, Colflesh GJH, Wiley J. Uncorking the muse: Alcohol intoxication facilitates creative problem solving. Consciousness and Cognition. Uncorking the muse: Alcohol intoxication facilitates creative problem solving 10.1016/j.concog.2012.01.002 : Consciousness and Cognition | ScienceDirect.com

    That alcohol provides a benefit to creative processes has long been assumed by popular culture, but to date has not been tested. The current experiment tested the effects of moderate alcohol intoxication on a common creative problem solving task, the Remote Associates Test (RAT). Individuals were brought to a blood alcohol content of approximately .075, and, after reaching peak intoxication, completed a battery of RAT items. Intoxicated individuals solved more RAT items, in less time, and were more likely to perceive their solutions as the result of a sudden insight. Results are interpreted from an attentional control perspective.
     
  2. #2
    biceps72

    biceps72 Active Member

    Not overly surprising imo, but interesting! These subjects were far from drunk so mental processes were not impaired but rather enhanced in some neurologic way?
     
  3. #3
    Gator8

    Gator8 Junior Member

    Vodka opens the mouth and closes the ears. I'm not convinced there was more creativity. Perhaps the study was flawed?
     
  4. #4
    mac111

    mac111 Active Member

    Well, from working club doors, I can assure all that alcohol is fantastic at creating assholes :eek::D
     
  5. #5
    rckymtns1

    rckymtns1 Junior Member

    There is a little common sense to it. Getting a little looser, or relaxing a little. Not concentrating so hard.
    I can tell you from too much experience with drinking, that I was a better dancer with a little bit of alcohol (I wasn't as stiff, and didn't think about it as much).
    Also, when we would play pool it seemed that I was a little better with a couple of drinks. I wouldn't obsess as much with the shot and rely more on instinct.

    Of course, after too much alcohol, one just gets sloppy.
     
  6. #6
    mac111

    mac111 Active Member

    well, booze makes ppl lose their inhibitions but doesnt necessarily make them better at performing the task
     
  7. #7
    BBC3

    BBC3 Well-Known Member

    Practice makes perfect...:)
     
  8. #8
    BBC3

    BBC3 Well-Known Member

    You rang?? Did it say anything about an Adderall/Alcohol stack?? LOL... I figure between the long term congnitive effects of the two, soon I will be working on all cylinders and not even have to take them anymore....[:eek:)]

     
  9. #9
    BBC3

    BBC3 Well-Known Member

    Ya know, at first I was leaning toward Gator, but then I was going to advise a little dab and all is what it said. But now looking back I think I see the BAC they chose was .075 which is right under the legal limit in most states. Now FIRST, we have to obvserve the political implications of this choosen test point!?!?!? Hmmm. Second, if one is not used to carrying a .04 standard issue and 24/7, then this is QUITE A BUOOOUUUZZZ. Third, I am usually hitting .075 at the 20 to 30 min mark, which means I already have enough high grav beer in my gut to reach .12 even if I dont take another sip at that interval. Unless of course I am just cruizin like tonight per say...

    But finally I note Gators connotation to the bouncer aspect and you must recognize that odds are these are less than upstanding citizens if in a club, that requires muscle, which MAY indicate a lower IQ accross the board, and if not just from lack of experience in the patrons. So, in short, a club with a bouncer is going to have lower odds of finding someone that can take a concept on an intellectual basis, and more likely those that are lookin for a fight...:) MORE likely..

     
  10. #10
    BBC3

    BBC3 Well-Known Member

    It is my general experience that if your game once sucked totally on just a drink or two, and now you have to have six just to get the motor running. Its no a good thing. I think the term "all liquered up" was once used in the same sentence with my respectible racquetball game - LOL. I was kindof offended. Liquer - hell, I dont even know her....

    And forget about the narcotics for the knees...

    But what is sad is when your membership is paid, but you still cant go to the gym cause you are all out of money.... lol:eek:

     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2012

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