Alcohol can help you solve riddles faster

April 12th, 2012 - 3:44 pm ICT by IANS  

London, April 12 (IANS) Strange but true… scientists say that drinking some beer before solving brain teasers can help you do better than those who attempt the riddles in a sober state.

Alcohol clouds analytical thinking or so it is thought, but frees stifled ‘creative’ thoughts to well up, allowing subjects to come up with more imaginative insights or solutions.

University of Illinois psychologists set 40 healthy young men a series of brain teasers. They were given three words, such as coin, quick and spoon, and coming up with a fourth word that links the three - in this case silver, the journal of Consciousness and Cognition reports.

Half the group drank the equivalent of two pints of beer before doing the tests, while the rest carried them out sober, according to The Telegraph.

The drinking group solved nearly 40 percent more problems than the others, and took an average of 12 seconds compared to the 15.5 seconds needed by sober subjects.

The researchers said: “The current research represents the first demonstration of alcohol’s effect on creative problem solving.”

Study author Jennifer Wiley said: “The bottom line is that we think being too focused can blind you to novel possibilities, and a broader, more flexible state of attention is needed for creative solutions to emerge.”

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