It can feel like everything looks a little better after a couple of pints. That glorious, glistening kebab; that dance moves you’d never pull otherwise; the ‘send’ button beneath that text you shouldn’t have drafted.
But not, apparently, people.
A recent study has found that apparently, beer goggles (the common belief that consuming alcohol makes people to whom you normally would not be attracted, attractive) is a myth.
The study, which was recently published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, found that people didn’t magically become hotter to participants after a bit of booze. Instead, alcohol consumption led people to make more direct moves towards the person they already fancied (go figure).
In other words, the study suggests that very few of us go for someone ‘just because we were drunk’ ― we probably already liked the look of them in the first place.
The researchers studied 36 men
Molly A. Bowdring, Ph.D., of the Stanford Prevention Research Center, and her team brought in 18 pairs of male friends and asked them to rate peoples’ physical attractiveness in photos and videos.
All the men were in their 20s and sat through two study rounds.
Some were given booze in the first round, while others were given a placebo drink. All men were told that the people they were looking at “were of participants from a recent study who may participate in a future ASRL study and that they... also might be invited to participate in the future study.” Meaning that participants thought the images were of real people who they could potentially meet.
In the second round, the men who were not given alcohol in the first round were, and vice versa. Researchers compared the ratings the pairs gave while both sober and drunk. In both rounds, the participants were also asked which of the people in the photos and videos they’d most like to interact with in the future.
The ratings stayed more or less the same, but those who’d drunk some booze were 1.71 times more likely to say they wanted to meet the people they liked the look of in real life.
“We observed a significant effect of alcohol on selection to interact with more attractive targets,” the researchers shared. “After consuming alcohol, participants were more likely to prefer to interact with the most attractive targets than they were after having consumed control beverages.”
“This study suggests that one aspect of beer goggles missing from past experiments the prospect that one might actually be able to meet, flirt, or perhaps engage intimately with a target. Our measure of this possibility, and this measure is where alcohol exerted its impact. In this sense, the notion of beer goggles begins to bleed into its neighbouring term ‘liquid courage,’” the study says.
In fact, the study suggested that the more attractive the person is to the participant, the more likely they were to attempt to get with them. “Our finding that alcohol increased the likelihood of selecting the most attractive targets for future interaction accords with the social attribution model of alcohol,” they shared.
Well, well, well...