Most of us already know alcohol lowers a lot of things *cough, inhibitions,* but did you know there is something it can apparently increase? According to a recent study, a small glass of wine (or beer, if that’s your thing), can actually increase your creativity and productivity.
So, does liquor make you quicker? Well, many of the legendary writers of the 20th century were renowned for indulging in an alcoholic drink — many took it to the extreme (Poe and Kerouac, to name a few) — and since their passing, it has been claimed that alcohol contributed to the creativity of some of these literary greats. Now, the University of Graz in Austria has released the results of their study, which found some truth in this claim.
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The study, “Creativity on Tap,” concluded that alcohol does indeed hold the capability to unleash artistic abilities. Dr. Mathias Benedek of the study told the U.K.’s [Daily Mail](http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4771634/Drinking-good-creativity-study-finds.html) that “a small drink can indeed help with certain aspects of creativity.” The study looked at how creative cognition in the brain was affected by alcohol intoxication, which was done through a “placebo-controlled design.”
Each of the 70 participants in the study was given a drink, some of which contained alcohol and some which did not. They both tasted the same, however, so the participants were unable to distinguish between the two. The drinkers and non-drinkers were then given a series of cognitive “games,” including a word-association game in which they were all asked what word linked “blue,” “swiss,” and “cake.” The “drinkers” of the study had a higher rate of answering correctly — the answer is cheese (just in case you haven’t had a cocktail).
Basically, according to lead researcher Benedek, alcohol in moderation can help us think outside the box and can aid in finding solutions to problems by approaching them “from another direction.” He even went on to say that a glass of wine could be useful in the most unexpected of places: “It might work well for someone who is sitting down to do creative writing or brainstorming ideas in a boardroom.”
Beware though, excessive alcohol consumption can have the opposite effect and actually decrease productivity and creativity. The difficulty is stopping at just one, of course. If you are one with willpower though, that one glass may help you find that “alternate solution” to the Sudoku you’ve been struggling to finish.
This post was written by Arianna Chatzidakis. For more, check out our sister site The Debrief.