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Vodka delivers shot of creativity

A boozy glow may trigger problem-solving insights

By
4:07pm, February 10, 2012

Getting a buzz from booze may boost creativity. Men who drank themselves tipsy solved more problems demanding verbal resourcefulness in less time than sober guys did, a new study finds.

Sudden, intuitive insights into tricky word-association problems occurred more frequently when men were intoxicated but not legally drunk, say psychology graduate student Andrew Jarosz of the University of Illinois at Chicago and his colleagues. Sober men took a more deliberative approach to this task.

A moderate alcoholic high loosens a person’s focus of attention, making it easier to find connections among remotely related ideas, the scientists propose online January 28 in Consciousness and Cognition.

In the study, 20 social drinkers watched an animated movie while eating a snack. Volunteers then drank enough of a vodka cranberry drink to reach an average peak blood alcohol level of 0.075 percent, just below the current 0.08 percent cutoff for legal intoxicat

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