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.

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


Big Think Edge
  • The meaning of the word 'confidence' seems obvious. But it's not the same as self-esteem.
  • Confidence isn't just a feeling on your inside. It comes from taking action in the world.
  • Join Big Think Edge today and learn how to achieve more confidence when and where it really matters.
Videos
  • Bad outcomes get criticized as evidence of bad decisions, but that's not necessarily so.
  • Here, poker pro Annie Duke desribes a simple thought experiment that separates decisions from outcomes.
  • It is quite possible to make a very good decision that, due to external factors, results in a bad outcome.

Decide to Play Great Poker: A Strategy Guide to No-Limit Texas Hold '’Em

www.amazon.com

Decide to Play Great Poker: A Strategy Guide to No-Limit Texas Hold '’Em [Annie Duke, John Vorhaus] on Amazon.com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Ask the great poker players how they'd play a hand and the answer is always, It depends. That answer can be infuriating. But guess what? It really does depend. The key to becoming a great poker player is in knowing exactly what it depends on. At last there's a book that gives you that answer. Poker is a game of so many variables: table position

Should teachers be fired for nude pics from their past?

Lauren Miranda sent a nude selfie to a boyfriend years ago. Somehow one of her students discovered it.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Math teacher Lauren Miranda was fired from her Long Island school when a topless selfie surfaced.
  • Miranda had only shared the photo with her ex-boyfriend, who is also a teacher in the school district.
  • She's suing the school for $3 million as well as getting her job back, citing gender discrimination.
Keep reading Show less

To boost your self-esteem, write about chapters of your life

If you're lacking confidence and feel like you could benefit from an ego boost, try writing your life story.

Personal Growth

In truth, so much of what happens to us in life is random – we are pawns at the mercy of Lady Luck. To take ownership of our experiences and exert a feeling of control over our future, we tell stories about ourselves that weave meaning and continuity into our personal identity.

Keep reading Show less