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Drunken Attraction Is Put to the Test

The more alcohol you consume, the higher you rate yourself.

By Lillian Fritz-Laylin and Meredith CarpenterJanuary 31, 2014 6:00 PM
Kai Schreiber


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Are you really as awesome when you’re drunk as you think you are? Perhaps not, finds a group of French scientists who probed the effects of alcohol on self-evaluation and published the results in the British Journal of Psychology.

For their first experiment — conducted at a bar, of course — they asked drinkers to rate how attractive they are. Not surprisingly, the more alcohol a person had consumed, the higher the rating they were likely to give themselves.

Next, participants in a staged “taste test” study were given cocktails with or without booze. Half of each group were told they were drinking alcohol, and the other half were told they were given a mocktail. Participants then wrote and delivered speeches and rated how “attractive, bright, original and funny” they considered themselves to be as orators.

The team compared these ratings with those of 22 university students who watched the recorded speeches. It turns out that just thinking they were drunk made study participants consider themselves to be more attractive. Sadly, according to the independent evaluations, they weren’t.

[This article originally appeared in print as "Beauty and the Booze: Drunken Attraction Is Put to the Test."]

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