Beer Goggles Work Both Ways
September 13, 2013

Beer Goggles Work Both Ways, And You Don’t Even Have To Be Drunk!

[ Watch the Video: Looking Through Beer Goggles ]

Michael Harper for - Your Universe Online

New research has found that beer goggles work both ways; not only does a person who’s indulged in a few drinks find other people more attractive, they also find themselves more attractive. In fact, the researchers say it only takes one drink for people to begin seeing themselves through beer-colored lenses.

Though the condition is popularly referred to as 'beer goggles,' the American and French researchers who conducted the study served their test subjects up with hard liquor instead of brew. The researchers were given an Ig Nobel prize, a lighthearted award given to explore and highlight sides of science that might not receive much attention otherwise.

"People have long observed that drunk people think others are more attractive but ours is the first study to find that drinking makes people think they are more attractive themselves," explained professor Brad Bushman, an Ohio State University psychologist who carried out the beer goggle study in an interview with the BBC.

"If you become drunk and think you are really attractive it might influence your thoughts and behavior towards others. It illustrates that in human memory, the link between alcohol and attractiveness is pretty strong."

To carry out this study, Bushman and his crew told 86 French men they would be taste-testing a new kind of drink. A portion of these men were told they’d be taking a non-alcoholic beverage. To keep the participants guessing, the researchers lined the rim of some of the glasses with alcohol. The participants were then told drinks in the booze-blessed glasses were as potent as six shots of vodka.

Next, these men were asked to make a quick pitch for the new product on camera. On reviewing the video, the men were asked to rate themselves on attractiveness. The men who were tricked into thinking they were taking a very strong shot of liquor reported themselves as not only more attractive, but funnier as well.

In contrast, the men who did not take any alcohol thought they were at the same level of attractiveness. Unbiased judges who were watching these videos, on the other hand, found no difference in attractiveness or humor between the two groups of men.

"This increase in self-perceived attractiveness is only an illusion," said Bushman. "In reality, they're not more attractive. You don't even need to be drunk. Just the mere belief that you consumed alcohol is enough."

Though this research might have spent a few days being passed around on the Internet as a piece of viral detritus, the scientists at Improbable Research decided to bestow upon them the Psychology Prize at the Ig Nobel ceremony on Thursday. A parody of the Nobel Prize, the Ig Nobel celebrates the research which either might not have been recognized at all otherwise or simply makes people chuckle.

The aim of Improbable Research is to “make people laugh, then make them think,” and their Ig Nobel ceremonies are true to this goal. Attendees throw around paper airplanes while award winners try their best to give their acceptance speech before the adorable “Miss Sweetie Poo,” a cute eight year-old girl, interrupts them for going over their allotted time.

Other 2013 Ig Nobel winners include research which found dung beetles can push their balls of dung in a straight line with some guidance from the moon and a Japanese researcher who found that mice that received heart transplants survived longer when they listened to Verdi’s opera La Triviata.