A Glass of Scotch Helps Creative Problem Solving

Need to think something though, where “something” stands for a problem that requires creativity to solve? Have a drink. No, seriously.

According to a study published in Consciousness and Cognition, a little bit of a drink, enough for mild intoxication, helped men solve problems better. Researchers gathered forty men in their twenties, all social drinkers, for the study. They abstained from alcohol for twenty-four hours, and from food or caffeine for four hours prior to the experiment. Half then consumed enough vodka to achieve a .07 blood alcohol concentration.

Next, the participants took the Remote Associates Test, a popular psychological test for insightful thinking. The test presents you with three words (e.g., coin, quick, and spoon), and asks for the best word to link the three (i.e., silver).

It turns out that the mildly intoxicated men performed much better on the test; they achieved fifty-eight per cent of the problems, versus forty-two per cent for the control group, and they did so faster, at eleven second versus fifteen.

See? Yet another reason to keep a bottle at your desk.



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