Psychologists Validate The ‘Beer Goggles’ Effect

, Psychologists Validate The ‘Beer Goggles’ Effect

(Beer Goggles courtesy Red Mountain Resort)

Most of us are familiar with the concept of “beer goggles’…the idea that people around you might become more attractive after a drink (or two).

Turns out it may not be an urban myth after all…

Psychologists at Edge Hill University in the United Kingdom have just released research that suggests there is some truth to the ‘beer goggles concept…

Dr. Rebecca Monk and Professor Derek Heim carried out a computer-based study in bars and pubs local to the University’s Ormskirk campus, asking participants to respond to stimuli while ignoring photos of attractive and unattractive faces.

200 faces were categorized as attractive and unattractive in a pilot study where participants of an equivalent demographic to those who took part in the ‘beer goggles’ study were asked to rate the attractiveness of facial stimuli.

According to the study’s findings, which were published this week in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, sober participants were more distracted by attractive faces, while “the attention of those who were intoxicated was diverted equally by both attractive and unattractive faces.”

“Previous research into the beer goggles phenomena yielded inconsistent findings and has been largely limited to asking people directly about how attractive they find others” said Dr. Monk, the lead author of the study. “By using an indirect measure of attention, our research was able to overcome some of these limitations.”

“We know that attractive faces can pull attention away from the task at hand, but our research suggests that alcohol has the capacity to lessen this effect; to level the playing field.”

More than 120 volunteers who participated in the study, both sober and intoxicated, were asked to indicate on a laptop whether the letter ‘T’ was the correct way around or inverted, while being told to ignore the series of faces that were shown on the screen at the same time.

, Psychologists Validate The ‘Beer Goggles’ Effect

Edge Hill University crest

And according to Professor Derek Heim the study’s results suggested that intoxicated people were less discriminating about what they deemed attractive…

 “Our research adds to the body of evidence showing that there is some truth to this anecdotal wisdom. It’s remarkable that in our study participants were only mildly intoxicated, suggesting that it doesn’t take much alcohol at all for people to ‘put on their beer goggles’.”

And It’s not like these findings are without precedents according to Psychology Today

“In 2003, a team of British researchers released a landmark study in the scientific journal Addiction. They brought 80 heterosexual college students to either a bar or restaurant and had them look at and rate the attractiveness of pictures of men and women.

“Sure enough, participants, both men and women, who had consumed alcohol were more generous with their ratings. “

Want more on drunken behavior? There’s this.


And this…



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