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Vodka can boost problem solving and creativity, finds study

Wednesday, 15 February 2012
I could probably do a better job writing this story if I had consumed some vodka first.
Scientists from the University of Chicago concluded in a recent study that men who are under the influence, but also not legally drunk, were faster and more creative in solving word association problems than men who were sober.
The study, published online in Consciousness and Cognition on Jan. 28, said that sober men approached the task more deliberately, according to psychology graduate student Andrew Jarosz.
This could be why many musicians and artists claim to be more creative after imbibing, researcher Jennifer Wiley was quoted as saying on Gizmodo.com.
“A composer or artist fixated on previous work may indeed find creative benefits from intoxication,” Wiley said.
In the study, two groups of 20 social drinkers were asked to perform a creative problem-solving task, according to an article on the study in sciencenews.org, and the results from both groups were comparable.
Then, both groups watched an animated movie. The volunteers in one of the groups ate a snack and drank enough of a vodka cranberry drink to bring their blood alcohol level just under the 0.08 percent legal limit; the other group of volunteers didn’t eat or drink.
Both groups then took part in another creative problem-solving task. Those with a buzz solved more questions on average, and did so in less time, than those who were clear-headed.
The results of the study support findings of a group at the University of Missouri in Columbia. Psychologist J. Scott Saults’ team related that individuals under the influence become less afraid to make mistakes, which could increase creativity, sciencenews.org reported.
So drink up, and start writing.