The Sciences

NCBI ROFL: Beer goggles explained!

DiscoblogBy ncbi roflAug 12, 2011 11:00 PM

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news
 

It’s booze week on NCBI ROFL! All this week we’ll be featuring articles about ethanol, ethyl alcohol, and even CH3CH2OH. Enjoy!An explanation for enhanced perceptions of attractiveness after alcohol consumption. "Acute alcohol consumption increases ratings of attractiveness to faces. This may help to explain increased frequencies of sexual encounters during periods of alcohol intoxication. At least in part, such increased attraction may be the result of alcohol consumption decreasing ability to detect bilateral asymmetry, presumably because of the reductions in the levels of visual function. We tested the hypotheses that acute alcohol consumption decreases ability to detect asymmetry in faces and reduces preference for symmetrical faces over asymmetrical faces. Twenty images of a pair of faces and then 20 images of a single face were displayed on a computer, one at a time. Participants were instructed to state which face of each of the face pairs displayed was most attractive and then whether the single face being displayed was symmetrical or not. Data were collected near campus bars at Roehampton University. Sixty-four self-selecting students who undertook the study were classified as either sober (control) or intoxicated with alcohol. For each face pair or single face displayed, participant response was recorded and details of the alcohol consumption of participants that day were also obtained. Sober participants had a greater preference for symmetrical faces and were better at detecting whether a face was symmetrical or otherwise, supporting the hypotheses. A further, unexpected finding was that males made fewer mistakes than did females when determining whether individual faces were asymmetrical. The reduced ability of inebriated people to perceive asymmetry may be an important mechanism underlying the higher ratings of facial attractiveness they give for members of the opposite sex and hence their increased frequency of mate choice."

Photo: flickr/Don Nunn

Related content: Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Beer goggles proven to exist; "beer before liquor, get sick quicker" hypothesis remains untested.

Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Beer gushing: a global threat.

Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Oktoberfest week: Are drinking games sports?

WTF is NCBI ROFL? Read our FAQ

!

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!

Subscribe

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Join
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

 
Subscribe
To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2022 Kalmbach Media Co.