A group of scientists from the University of Illinois at Chicago have shown that moderate consumption of Alcohol may boost creativity. Within their study they compared the performance of sober and drunk volunteers (0.075 blood alcohol level) with tests known as remote associate tests that people often solve with a moment of insight. The results showed that the tipsy volunteers not only solved substantially more (30%) of the tests they also solved them quicker.
There is lots of anecdotal evidence that intoxication might enhance creativity, but writers like E.A. Poe, Hemingway, musicians like Beethoven or even the recently died Amy Winehouse or Whitney Houston showed that it often also ends in tragedy.
Research has so far not tested if alcohol intoxication enhances the creative potential of people while some professional groups have empirical knowledge on this from their day-to-day practice.
The group of scientists and researchers around Professor Jenny Wiley from UIC are one of the first providing proof that creative problem solving may benefit from a more diffuse attentional state.
While long been thought that intoxication could free creative potential of individuals, they showed that moderate intoxication could be one way to to turn people into such a state of being more conductive to creative thinking. They consider their study only as a first step and we are certain that they will not have problems finding volunteers for a broader sample or long-term study of the topic.
- Abstract of the paper and link to full-text (pay walled).
- Dr. Jennifer Wiley’s page at UIC with more information on her work and publications.
- Science News on the study
- Humor: A new German Flag
- Video: Life-Space-Invaders and Life-Pong
- Life: Academic Salaries
- Street life: Cardboard house paintings from Japan
After we reported last week that Swiss TV has used the “Nazi-Germany Anthem” during the Euro 2008 football championship, we thought it would be just fair to inform you on another slip during the event – this time by German State TV ARD…
Guillaume Reymond, head of the Swiss communication agency NOTsoNOISY had a great idea for their participation in the 2006 Belluard Bollwerk International festival in Fribourg. After their success with Life-Pong in 2005 they got almost 70 people together and created a Life version of arcade game classic Space Invaders. Unfortunately the videos are not shown on their web site anymore, but after looking around a bit we found them on the web (links below)…
Another proof who the most important or at least the most appreciated people are in many academic institutions.
Japanese web site Cardboard-House-Painting has a set of galleries online with photographs of cardboard shelter paintings from people who lived on the street in Japan’s homeless city that was created around the Shinjuku Underground station’s in the mid-1990s. …Hundreds of cardboard houses grew up in the underground passageways of the west exit. On each of [...]