- Glass of wine could be what you need to get your creative juices to flow
- Those who consumed alcohol had less focus and cognitive control
- A small drink can indeed help with certain aspects of creativity.
"Alcohol is so linked with creativity," lead author Dr Mathias Benedek said. "Previous research has found almost half of the great writers had a history of drinking. We found that a small drink can indeed help with certain aspects of creativity." Moderate drinking could make it a little difficult to focus on work. "It might well work for someone who is sitting down to do creative writing or brainstorming ideas in a boardroom," Benedek suggested.
A group of participants were given a bottle of normal beer while others in the group were given non-alcoholic beer, which they weren't able to differentiate between. The participants were then given a series of word association tasks, for example, they were asked to link the words, 'Swiss', 'blue' and 'cake'. Those who drank alcohol were more likely to correctly guess that cheese was the linking word as compared to the non-drinkers.
"There are two theories for how this works," explained Dr Benedek. "The first being that when you are really focusing on solving a problem, you can become fixated so that your mind gets stuck on one way of addressing it. Alcohol makes it more difficult to keep all the parameters of the task in mind, but that can also help you come at it from another direction. "The second theory is that alcohol, which is distracting from the central task, allows you to tap into your unconscious mind and find alternative solutions," he explained.