There’s Evidence A Midday Glass Of Vino Can Make You More Creative
It looks like Mad Men had it right all along. There may be a reason having a casual drink in the middle of the day is common all around the world. Australian scientists found that a glass of wine or a pint of beer can help to spark creativity at any point in the day. The study was published in the journal of Consciousness And Cognition. Drinking is usually a way to de-stress or gather up some courage, but unleashing creativity? Yup, you heard right!
In the study, some participants were given alcoholic beers while others were given non-alcohol beers. The findings show that certain aspects of creative cognition benefit from a reduction of cognitive control. This supports the growing idea that higher cognitive control doesn’t necessarily mean better cognitive performance. So being more in control doesn’t mean you’ll perform better. The group of participants that had alcohol experienced reduced executive control and improved creative problem-solving.
The participants were given word association tasks like connecting “Swiss,” “blue” and “cake.” The participants who drank were overall more likely to guess cheese as the correct answer.
Dr. Benedek explained that “there are two theories for how this works.” One theory suggests that when you’re really focused on solving a problem, with full sober concentration, your mind can become fixated on one solution, blocking you off from other possibilities. The other theory suggests that alcohol allows you tap into your unconscious mind and come up with out-of-the-box solutions.
The trick to using alcohol for creative purposes is moderation. Know what kind of work you’re dealing with and how much cognitive control a certain task requires. If you’re working with cold hard numbers you probably won’t benefit from a glass of vino. For anyone in a creative field, break out that Bordeaux glass and start sipping — science suggests it’s not a bad idea.
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