Having a beer might help get your creative juices flowing.

By Seriously Science | August 15, 2017 6:00 am
Image:Flickr/Robbie Sproule

Image:Flickr/Robbie Sproule

Feeling stuck on a problem? This study suggests that having a drink might help! Here,
scientists gave one group of volunteers beer, and another group non-alcoholic beer. They then tested the creative thinking ability of each group. Turns out that very light drinking (about one beer) improved creative thinking, but made other cognitive abilities worse or unchanged. So the next time you find yourself really stuck, consider having a small drink — just don’t plan on doing your taxes or driving afterward. Cheers!

Creativity on tap? Effects of alcohol intoxication on creative cognition.

“Anecdotal reports link alcohol intoxication to creativity, while cognitive research highlights the crucial role of cognitive control for creative thought. This study examined the effects of mild alcohol intoxication on creative cognition in a placebo-controlled design. Participants completed executive and creative cognition tasks before and after consuming either alcoholic beer (BAC of 0.03) or non-alcoholic beer (placebo). Alcohol impaired executive control, but improved performance in the Remote Associates Test, and did not affect divergent thinking ability. The findings indicate that certain aspects of creative cognition benefit from mild attenuations of cognitive control, and contribute to the growing evidence that higher cognitive control is not always associated with better cognitive performance.”

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  • OWilson

    There are already too many useless “studies” out there, but one I would find interesting is any correlation between light social drinking vs alcohol abstinence, and general intelligence?

    I admit to a little bias here! :)

  • http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/qz4.htm Uncle Al

    Writer’s block is caused by deadlines. Daydream, take a hot shower, sleep late, have a long slow drink; do something mindless and unrelated; chill out. Lose a day to sloth. Creativity, like Silly Putty and oobleck, oozes low shear but fractures high shear.

    TRIZ – the “other” way. (one line, remove parens)
    Flynn (effect) – the power of generalization.

    Bottom lone: It can’t be done. So what? Do it the other way, outside yourself, then fight risk-aversive management.

  • Foma

    I think this has been demonstrated in action for centuries, if not longer. Even Hemmingway said, ”Write drunk, edit sober.”

  • Charles Vermont

    I agree with everything except the first sentence.
    Deadlines can obliterate writer’s block.

    Many creative types need an external constraint to expedite their creativity. (Not everyone, but all too many, IMHO.)

    My day job is artistic but in a business context:
    I have to find a business solution for the customer. By five o’clock.
    I’m a perfectionist, but these external constraints force one to hone one’s craft in the most economical sense: Getting your output out there. And it has to work.

    Navel-gazing artistes should at least look at this particular Big Picture factor before their gaseous pontificating.


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