YOUNG VOICES

South Bank University Spends £20,000 On Building Fake Pub

18/02/2014 12:54 GMT | Updated 18/02/2014 12:59 GMT
London South Bank University

A London university has spent £20,000 to build a fake pub in order to investigate our relationship with alcohol, using students as guinea pigs.

South Bank University has established the "research pub" within its school of psychology, and it features beer taps, a fruit machine, bar stools and beverages.

However although all the beverages will smell and taste like alcohol, some will merely be placebos.

The facility is designed for students and research psychologists to study volunteer subjects in a realistic setting where they will behave in a way that they would not if they were being studied in laboratory conditions.

Dr Tony Moss, head of psychology at the university, was behind the idea.

"What we are trying to do is simulate, with a greater deal of control, the environment in which people find themselves drinking," he says.

"This is somewhere in between being able to do research in the real world in a bar — where we have very little control over what is going on — and in a lab cubicle, which is nothing like the way people are drinking in the real world."

South Bank's fake bar

Anne Foster, spokeswoman for Drinkaware, a charity that promotes responsible drinking, said: "We are particularly interested in understanding the psychology behind consumer behaviour, so being able to conduct experiments in the pub environment is going to be hugely valuable."