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You're More Creative Drunk?

by Josh Heller Feb 22, 2012
Recent studies show higher creative problem solving abilities among drunk subjects than sober. We’ve decided to research this ourselves.

**UPDATE: Matador editors completed this experiment.**

EVERY HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER’S ADVICE was wrong. Coming to class tired (and wasted) actually improves test scores! AnimalNYC relays some recent studies on the subject.

The first suggests that if you give an insomniac a pop quiz at their “least optimal time of day” they’ll actually be remarkably better at solving puzzles. Analytical problems were unaffected by the hour.

Another study found that participants whose blood alcohol level was 0.075 solved more creative problems than when they were sober. But before you pull out that beer-bong, you should know that for most people a BAC of 0.075 is achieved after less than one drink (just beer-bong one beer at a time.)

The study indicates that being tired and/or drunk is good for creativity because that makes it harder to concentrate. Not being able to pay attention allows the brain to wander and arrive at unconventional solutions.

Although studies did indicate that creativity is only really stimulated if you drink one beer, the three Matador editors (myself, Josh Johnson, and David Miller) who discussed this study decided to take it further: can we write more creatively while drunk, not just after a single beer, but multiple beverages?

We don’t have scientific equipment, but we do have a few bottles of wine and tequila, plus our notepads and a Google Hangout.

We will be initiating the experiment on Friday, Feb 24, at 10pm EST. Please feel free to ask us questions / request things reported by commenting here. * Thanks to AnimalNYC for calling out the studies on increased creativity through fatigue and inebriation.

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