Finally, there’s a way to party and prepare that thesis you’ve been holding off on, thanks to science. Recent research shows that a moderate amount of vodka increases word association skills and verbal creativity. This means that you’re slightly more on your toes and creative when buzzed on vodka. A buzz loosens up the mind enough so that we’re less likely to be inhibited by a deliberate approach to problem solving, but not so intoxicated that we can’t think logically. Anyone could guess that a little alcohol loosens us up verbally, but no one could guess that it would make us better poets or smoother speakers.
Before we all head to the liquor store before midterms, however, it’s important to note that in order for the buzz to work, your average peak blood alcohol level should be at 0.075 percent, slightly below the 0.08 percent cutoff for legal intoxication in the U.S. In other words, if a breathalyzer can declare you drunk, you’re probably not in good enough shape for the buzz to work. The study, conducted by psychology graduate student Andrew Jarosz and his colleagues at the University of Illinois at Chicago, had 20 social drinkers watch an animated movie, eat some snacks, and inject a little bit of cranberry vodka. Another 20, their control, viewed the same movie without eating or drinking. Not only does this seem like one of the most fun studies to take place on campus but when tested afterward on creative problem-solving tasks, the slightly intoxicated group performed better and faster than the sober control.
via World of Lemon
The findings, published in Consciousness and Cognition
, may help some people find an alcoholic sweet spot in their schedule. It is, however, the only of its kind and there are a few variables that need to be eliminated before their proof holds water. Some argue that watching the film could have increased the subjects’ creative abilities. Others say the snacks could have helped, since the group with alcohol had them and the control group didn’t. Your best bet? Keep your drinking separate from your test taking or writing for now. That is, unless your idea of a party is shots and slam poetry. By all means, go for it.