How Alcohol Inspires Creativity

Researchers found that men who drank vodka cranberries performed better on standard creativity tests than those who didn't. If you want to think differently, getting tipsy might help.

How Alcohol Inspires Creativity

What's the Latest Development?


In a study of 40 young men, scientists found that those given vodka cranberry drinks performed better on a standard creativity test than those who stayed sober. Published in Consciousness and Cognition, the research looked at alcohol's influence on people's creativity as measured by the 'Remote Associates Test', a word association game. Drinkers "correctly solved 58% of the problems, compared with 42% for the sober group, and they came up with the right answers nearly four seconds faster on each question. Being drunk improved performance by about 30%."

What's the Big Idea?

Science continues to confirm that altered states of consciousness, whether induced by alcohol, drugs, sleepiness or travel, improve our capacity for creative thought. When we remove ourselves from our usual way of seeing the world, we inhibit what is called 'executive functioning' in our brain, processes that involve focus and planning. While executive functioning can keep us focused on the task at hand, it can also inhibit our capacity for finding innovative solutions. Scientists remind us, however, that creativity is excited by getting tipsy, not drunk. 

Photo credit: shutterstock.com


No, the Yellowstone supervolcano is not ‘overdue’

Why mega-eruptions like the ones that covered North America in ash are the least of your worries.

Ash deposits of some of North America's largest volcanic eruptions.

Image: USGS - public domain
Strange Maps
  • The supervolcano under Yellowstone produced three massive eruptions over the past few million years.
  • Each eruption covered much of what is now the western United States in an ash layer several feet deep.
  • The last eruption was 640,000 years ago, but that doesn't mean the next eruption is overdue.
Keep reading Show less

Do you worry too much? Stoicism can help

How imagining the worst case scenario can help calm anxiety.

Stoicism can help overcome anxiety

Credit: OLIVIER DOULIERY via Getty Images
Personal Growth
  • Stoicism is the philosophy that nothing about the world is good or bad in itself, and that we have control over both our judgments and our reactions to things.
  • It is hardest to control our reactions to the things that come unexpectedly.
  • By meditating every day on the "worst case scenario," we can take the sting out of the worst that life can throw our way.
Keep reading Show less

Study: People will donate more to charity if they think something’s in it for them

A study on charity finds that reminding people how nice it feels to give yields better results than appealing to altruism.

How to get people to want to give you money, literal balls of cash not gaurenteed.

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels
Personal Growth
  • A study finds asking for donations by appealing to the donor's self-interest may result in more money than appealing to their better nature.
  • Those who received an appeal to self-interest were both more likely to give and gave more than those in the control group.
  • The effect was most pronounced for those who hadn't given before.
Keep reading Show less
Surprising Science

160-million-year-old ‘Monkeydactyl’ was the first animal to develop opposable thumbs

The 'Monkeydactyl' was a flying reptile that evolved highly specialized adaptations in the Mesozoic Era.

Quantcast