Monday, June 22, 2009

Beer Goggles - Fact or Fallacy?

Last year researchers at the Manchester University published a study that said 'beer goggles' really do exist and the brain child behind the survey even published a formula to calculate their effect.

Many men have used 'beer goggles' to justify something they have regretted the morning after the night before.
This year some 'dickheads' from the University of Leicester are trying to rain on our parade as they try to chew up and spit out the only decent excuse us guys ever had for waking up the morning after a skinfull with the 'devil woman' lying next to you.........but if recent research is to be believed we can forget the 'beer goggles' excuse from now on!

A psychological study suggests that far from alcohol making men find women prettier, it might even have the opposite effect - making them less attracted to potential mates.
Apparently the demon drink also makes no difference to men's ability to judge a woman's age, and booze also makes no difference to a man's ability to guess a woman's age, the research found.

Scientists asked a group of 240 men and women in bars and cafes to look at photos of women and comment on their age and attractiveness.
Half the participants used in the experiment had consumed alcoholic drinks, with effects rated as 'relaxed and benign', 'blunted and disinherited,' 'boisterous and over-expressive', and 'unambiguously drunk.'

Some of the pictures of 10 young women aged 17 were digitally altered to make them appear younger or older. Make-up was also applied digitally to a number of images.
The findings showed that alcohol reduced the ability of women to guess the age of the photo models, but not men.
Both the effects of alcohol and prettifying a face with make-up had little effect on men's judgement.

Dr Vincent Egan, a Home Office advisor and his 'chuckle brother' colleagues, from the University of Leicester said: 'This study suggests that alcohol consumption and make-up use do not interfere with how old we perceive someone to be.'

Another interesting finding was that overall participants who drank alcohol actually rated all the women in the photos as less attractive, compared to the participants who hadn't drunk alcohol.

This seemingly flies in the face of the commonly held notion of 'beer goggles.' Participants consistently over-estimated the age of both mature and immature faces by an average of three and a half years.

Reporting their results in the British Journal of Psychology, the researchers wrote: 'Although alcohol limited the processing of maturity cues in female observers, it had no effect on the age perceptions of males viewing female faces, suggesting male mate preferences are not easily disrupted.'
'Beer goggles’ could really be the result of lowered inhibitions, or that people are more willing to take a risk.

They clearly didn't use subjects that were drunk enough. After only a few drinks when peoples' inhibitions loosen up it's much easier for them to be mean. You need to get people past that and to the pissed/drunk stage where people just don’t give a toss any more.

Eagan said: 'Men over-estimate women’s ages and this study backs that up' and added 'it also shows that drink has nothing to do with it.'

On a more serious note, they said the influence of alcohol should not be a mitigating factor in the case of a man accused of having sex with someone under-age.
'Our study suggests that even heavy alcohol consumption does not interfere with age-perception tasks in men, so is not of itself an excuse for apparent mistaken age in cases of unlawful sex with a minor,' they wrote.

However if the research from Manchester University needed confirmation then
the 'boffins' at Bristol University also claim ‘beer goggles’ really do exist, and it takes less than two pints to distort people's opinions.

According to one report, Vodka-drinkers were told to rate the appeal of 20 male and 20 female faces on a seven-point scale. The same faces were shown to volunteers who had consumed only soft drinks. The boozers scored the faces 10 per cent higher.
And the effect on men lasted up to 24 hours after alcohol consumption - giving blokes something more than just a hangover to worry about!

Scaremongering or not, in effect this report is saying one and a half pints is all it takes to make a bloke lose the ability to distinguish the difference between a beauty and a beast.

Once we've decided that 'beer goggles' are real, the next thing we need is a way to easily quantify the effect their having on our judgment in real time. That's where the easy to use Beer Google Calculator comes in handy, and is based on the formula originally developed by the geniuses at Manchester University.

Be sure to bookmark the Beer Goggle Calculator on your phone so that you can quickly find it in your time of need. And by 'time of need' I mean in a dimly lit soiled bar while you're waiting for drink number eleven.

As @ Monday 09 March 2009:

According to the World Health Organisation top of the table for per capita drinking in the World is Luxembourg (15.6 litres per capita) followed by Ireland, with the U.K not far behind at 13.7 litres.
Next is Hungary (13.6 litres), Moldova (13.2 litres), Czech Republic (13.0 litres), Croatia (12.3 litres) and Germany(12.0 litres).
We are ahead of Russia (10.3 litres) and also the United States (8.6 litres).

It remains to be seen if one of the upsides of this recession will be a fall in drinking as more people re-evaluate their lifestyles, values and finances!

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