Published on April 11th, 2012 | by Kim LaCapria0
Drinking Beer or Other Booze May Enhance Problem Solving Skills [Study]
…unless your problem is avoiding going home with someone you really don’t want to wake up next to, in which case beer will actually reduce your cognitive ability.
Yes, a new study has proven what us bloggers have known all along- beer and other alcohol, in moderation, can enhance your problem solving skills. Possibly because after two beers, the only problem you try to solve is how to get more beer, a study was required to test this hypothesis. In the study, men were given two beers, and then asked to solve brain teasers- not only did the men who drank first get more correct answers, but they also were quicker to solve problems than their inferior sober counterparts.
Professor Jennifer Wiley of the University of Illinois at Chicago is the study’s lead author, and of the results, Wiley says alcohol reduces the brain’s working memory, enhancing hyperfocus:
“Working memory capacity is considered the ability to control one’s attention. It’s the ability to remember one thing while you’re thinking about something else.”
Wiley spoke about distraction being part of the reason alcohol can boost ability to solve problems:
“We have this assumption, that being able to focus on one part of a problem or having a lot of expertise is better for problem solving. But that’s not necessarily true. Innovation may happen when people are not so focused. Sometimes it’s good to be distracted.”
Medical Daily notes that “the surprising discovery was that participants with a BAC of 0.07 or higher solved 40 percent more problems than their sober counterparts and took 12 seconds to complete the tasks compared to 15.5 seconds by teetotal participants.” The site adds that access to sleep has also been shown to enhance reasoning ability, so now is an excellent time for workplaces to consider adding a Corona and siesta hour to enhance overall productivity.