Most of us are familiar with the concept of “beer goggles’…the idea that people around you might become more attractive after a drink.
Turns out that’s not exactly true, the ‘beer goggles’ effect may be myth, and according to a US research team, something is happening and it’s more complicated than you might think.
The findings, which are published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, seem to cast doubt on the so-called phenomenon of “beer goggles.” However, the study does support the idea that alcohol can provide men with some “liquid courage.”
So it’s not that a beer or two makes the opposite sex more attractive, but it does make men braver at least with regard to asking someone out that they already find attractive.
To conduct the research, lead investigator Molly A. Bowdring, Ph.D., of the Stanford Prevention Research Center in Palo Alto, Calif. (affiliated with University of Pittsburgh at the time of this study) and Michael Sayette, Ph.D., brought in 18 pairs of male friends in their 20s to the laboratory to rate the attractiveness of people they viewed in photos and videos while sober and intoxicated.
According to Bowdring past ‘beer goggles’ studies have stopped there, but this time researchers introduced an additional element: the possibility of meeting that attractive person, in-person.
Conventional wisdom would suggest that alcohol leads people to perceive others as more physically attractive,” Bowdring told the New York Post, but “most experimental tests of alcohol’s effects have relied on testing people in isolation. Because physical attractiveness plays a pretty key role in our social experiences, we wanted to better understand how does alcohol influence that.”
When researchers introduced the possibility of interacting with those attractive strangers in the future, the intoxicated men were found to be 1.71 times more open to meeting one of those attractive people in-person, which they might not otherwise dare to do sober.
So this, albeit small study, indicates that it may be less about the “beer goggle” effect and more about intoxicated men gaining ‘liquid courage.’