Wednesday 29 January 2020

Struggling for inspiration? A pint of beer could release creative block

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Stock picture

Sarah Knapton

Artists throughout history have claimed that alcohol can boost creativity and trigger flights of productivity.

Now a new study has proved their assertions are not just wishful drinking.

Downing a pint of beer for men, or around 350ml for women, boosted test scores in 132 people who were given a range of creative tasks.

In one word association test, alcohol increased test scores by around 40pc.

In the test, participants were given three words and asked to think of a word that can be connected to each - for example, the word "pit" can be attached to "peach", "arm" and "tar".

Researchers from the University of Graz, in Austria, believe that alcohol helps remove the parameters that surround a problem, allowing more creative thought, and helping drinkers to think outside of the box.

The study suggests enjoying a glass of wine, or beer, could be the key to unlocking the mental alacrity needed to complete a cryptic crossword or write a witty best-man's speech.

However, while alcohol boosted creativity, it decreased 'executive function' and so is likely to impede artistic endeavours that require motor skills, such as painting or dancing.

Lead author Mathias Benedek, of the Department of Psychology at the University of Gras, said: "Anecdotal reports link alcohol intoxication to creativity.

"Creative problem-solving tasks are often solved by spontaneous insight and accompanied by 'aha' experiences.

"Beneficial effects are likely restricted to very modest amounts of alcohol." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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