Study Shows a Couple of Beers Makes Men Less Moronic

This study by the FABBS Foundation (which is short for something, I’m sure of it) has been making the rounds over the last week.  In a nutshell, it shows that men with a blood alcohol level of 0.07%, or a couple of beers worth of booze on board, performed better at “creative problem solving.”

This skill set is enhanced when your ability to focus on things is diminished, allowing you to loosen up and let your non-linear genius flow without all of that “thinking” getting in the way.  I’m sure you could add playing darts and flirting to this list as well.

I love studies like this one, but I question the difficulty of the problems posed to the 40 people (20 buzzed, 20 sober) who participated.  Here’s the example cited of the FABBS website: 

For example, if Wiley asked you to tell her what word goes with the following: blue, cottage, Swiss. And you said, “cheese,” you’d be accessing your remote ideas, not linear ones. That is, you associated blue, cottage, and Swiss with cheese, a commendable and constructive thing to do.

Really?  A sober person can’t come up with “cheese” in that example?  What did they say, “ski rental properties” or “balls, industry, and army knife”?  Seems like a low threshold for success to me.

Anyway, this is further proof that there’s merit to getting out of your own way every once in a while.  As a couple of cool dudes once said, thank heaven for beer!

Have you ever had a moment of genius after a couple of beers, or just some really bad ideas after several?  As always, let us know below. Also, let us know what you think the “FABBS” in FABBS Foundation stands for. I’m going with Frumpy-Assed Bitches Bringing the Science. :)

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Author:Jim Galligan

Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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9 Comments on “Study Shows a Couple of Beers Makes Men Less Moronic”

  1. April 16, 2012 at 11:53 am #

    I do find that a beer, maybe two doesn’t hamper my creative thinking during the day. Potentially even improves it. Any more than that, and the ideas start to suck. Having said that, I suspect the creative problem solving I (and you) are doing at our day job is a bit more challenging than a word enigma involving cheese. If that’s all I was doing, a six pack would likely have ill effect. And I’d have an unusual desire to pair artisan cheeses with said six pack. :)

    • April 16, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

      Mostly that word puzzle make me hungry…

  2. April 16, 2012 at 11:57 am #

    I was actually thinking “Heidi” not “cheese”. But I might have been conflating Heidi and Julie Andrews frolicking in a blue dress through the Alps in the Sound of Music.

    Nice pic. I like it.

  3. April 16, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

    You obviously need another beer before you’ll be primed to play the word game. :)

  4. Dave
    April 16, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    Last night while doing an open book, multiple choice test I drank me an Espresso Oak Aged Yeti. Wouldn’t you know, I scored a 100 on the thing. Yeah yeah, I know it was open book, but the last two of these things I took, I somehow missed three questions on each.

    Also I recently came back from a month long training course where we had to memorize the titles to 53 parts of a regulation. I struggled the first two weeks trying to memorize them things. Then one night I had me a couple of Good People Snake Handler’s, the next day I was able to remember all 53 parts.

    Beer just makes me better.

  5. April 16, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

    Free association is the key for innovative and creative ideas when brainstorming, and I’ll attest to the magical qualities of beer when doing so. But, as has been said, two is the limit for a productive outcome, in most cases. As a Creative Director, I always get us out of the office when we need to come up with our best stuff, and the best places to do that are the nearby breweries and bars. I think it’s beneficial for those who don’t drink also, kind of like a creative contact high.

  6. splat8391
    April 16, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

    I don’t know about problem solving, but I think my creative writing “process” (such as it is) is definitely better when I’m sipping on a good beer. Unless … maybe I just tell myself that because I’m feeling creative at the time. Then again, that’s creative …

    Holy self-fulfilling prophecy, Batman!

  7. April 16, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

    from a female point of view….i know the beer and wine consumed during study sessions definitely helped me get those As! haha! cheers.

  8. April 18, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

    As a designer I can attest to phenomena that beer can loosen the rigid thinking that sobriety brings. Some of my best ideas came after focusing on a problem all day and then having beers with friends.

    I did notice a counter effect though when I had an office job and had a beer over lunch I was more likely to be sleepy in the afternoon than creative.

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