If anyone has ever told you that you’re overthinking something, moderate drinking for creativity may help you overcome that problem. At least, that’s the theory behind a new 7.1% ABV IPA called The Problem Solver, according to Engadget. The beer was dreamed up in a collaboration between ad agency CP+B Copenhagen and Danish brewer Rocket Brewing.
Research shows that you reach your “creative peak” when your BAC is 0.075%, or just under the legal limit of 0.08% in most states. The Problem Solver comes packaged with a scale, so you can weigh yourself and then use the helpful gauge on the bottle to determine how much of the beer you should drink to enhance your creative thought processes.
While creative people have long credited moderate amounts of alcohol as being helpful, there’s a growing body of scientific evidence to back up these wishful claims. The Problem Solver is based on a paper from University of Illinois at Chicago professor Jennifer Wiley titled “Drunk, but Not Blind: The Effects of Alcohol Intoxication on Change Blindness,” which was published in the journal Consciousness and Cognition.
Researchers conducted two tests for this study. In the first study, 48 males were split into two groups of 24 and made to watch the same animated movie. One group drank vodka and cranberry juice until the point where they reached approximately 0.08% BAC. The other group just drank water.
Researchers then used a flicker paradigm test featuring images from the movie, and asking participants to indicate when they noticed the changes in the images. According to Wiley, people usually rely on one of two strategies: systematic scanning until you notice the change, or simply waiting for the change to pop out. Researchers suspected that sober people scanned, while drunk people looked for popping. In this test, the intoxicated participants outperformed the sober ones.
The second test involved memory tasks, at which the drunk participants did not fare as well as the sober ones. So the helpfulness of alcohol does have its limits.
But Wiley’s co-author, Gregory Colflesh, said that the findings in Wiley’s study “nicely supplement our previous research illustrating that moderate intoxication improved creativity.”
In an earlier study, Colflesh and his research group found that study participants who were also around 0.08% BAC outperformed sober participants at word association problems.
The Newt/Judge Experiment proved interesting as well, although it was conducted by a marketing team rather than scientists. 18 creatives from the advertising world were split into two groups of 9. The first group could drink as much booze as they wanted, while the second could only drink water. They were each given three hours to come up with a campaign about binge drinking.
Both a team of top creative directors and some pub-goers between the ages of 18 and 30 were invited to judge the ideas. The drunk team’s ideas came out on top in both groups.
Who would have thought that Homer was right?