CLOSE
Original image

How Drinking Can Solve All Your (Word Association) Problems

Original image

Ryan McVay/Photodisc

Here's a gem for your next round of barstool trivia: a recent study shows that people who have a couple drinks solve brainteasers faster—and get more correct answers—than their sober peers.

Jennifer Wiley, of the University of Illinois in Chicago, asked 40 men to play a few mind games to test creative problem solving skills. Half of the men enjoyed two pints of beer or two glasses of wine, while the other half drank non-alcoholic beverages. Then Wiley presented them with a series of words such as peach, tar, and arm, asking them to find one word common to all of them. (The answer is pit, for our sober readers.) The men with an average blood alcohol level of .075 solved 40 percent more problems than their teetotaler peers, and took about 12 seconds to complete the tasks—3.5 seconds less, on average, than the sober guys.

While the researchers note that being tipsy impairs memory, it also caused people to act creatively to solve problems, suggesting that innovation occurs when people experience distraction.

"We tested what happens when people are slightly merry, not when people drink to extreme," Wiley told the Daily Mail. "The bottom line is that we think being too focused can blind you to novel possibilities, and a broader, more flexible state of attention is needed for creative solutions to emerge."

Original image
arrow
pretty pictures
9 Exhilarating Close-Up Photos of Sharks
Original image

Dive into the world of Shark, a new book by award-winning photographer Brian Skerry.

Original image
Hamilton Broadway
arrow
Food
A Hamilton-Themed Cookbook is Coming
Original image
Hamilton Broadway

Fans of Broadway hit Hamilton will soon be able to dine like the Founding Fathers: As Eater reports, a new Alexander Hamilton-inspired cookbook is slated for release in fall 2017.

Cover art for Laura Kumin's forthcoming cookbook
Amazon

Called The Hamilton Cookbook: Cooking, Eating, and Entertaining in Hamilton’s World, the recipe collection by author Laura Kumin “takes you into Hamilton’s home and to his table, with historical information, recipes, and tips on how you can prepare food and serve the food that our founding fathers enjoyed in their day,” according to the Amazon description. It also recounts Hamilton’s favorite dishes, how he enjoyed them, and which ingredients were used.

Recipes included are cauliflower florets two ways, fried sausages and apples, gingerbread cake, and apple pie. (Cue the "young, scrappy, and hungry" references.) The cookbook’s official release is on November 21—but until then, you can stave off your appetite for all things Hamilton-related by downloading the musical’s new app.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios