(Telegraph) Struggling for inspiration? A pint of beer could release creative block, say scientists
Artists throughout history have claimed that alcohol can boost creativity and trigger flights of productivity.
Now a new study has proved that their assertions are not just wishful drinking.
Downing a pint of beer for men, or around 350ml for women, boosted test scores in 132 men and women who were given a range of creative tasks. In one word association test, alcohol increased test scores by around 40 per cent.
In the test participants were given three words and asked them to think of a word that can be connected to each – for example, the word “pit” can be attached to “peach”, “arm” and “tar”.
Researchers from the University of Graz, in Austria, believe that alcohol helps remove the parameters which surround a problem, allowing more creative thought, and helping drinkers to think outside of the box.
The study suggests enjoying a glass of wine, or beer, could be the key to unlocking the mental alacrity need to complete a cryptic crossword or write a witty best-man’s speech.
However, while alcohol boosted creativity it decreased ‘executive function’ and so is likely to impede artistic endeavors which require motor skills, such as painting or dancing.
Lead author Mathias Benedek, of the Department of Psychology at the University of Gras, said: “Anecdotal reports link alcohol intoxication to creativity. Creative problem solving tasks are often solved by spontaneous insight and accompanied by “Aha”-experiences
“Alcohol impaired executive control, but improved performance in the Remote Associates Test.
“Beneficial effects are likely restricted to very modest amounts of alcohol, whereas excessive alcohol consumption typically impairs creative productivity.”