Mental Block? Having A Pint Could Help The Creative Juices Flow Again

There are times when you're stuck at school, college, university or work, trying to concentrate but nothing is going in. The result? Pretty much zero productivity.

At this point, you might think of sacking it all off and heading straight for the pub. Want the good news? It turns out that may not be such a bad idea - a new study has shown that alcohol can increase your performances by as much as 40 percent.

Downing a pint (568ml) for men and around 350ml for women boosted the test scores of 132 people who were given a range of creative tasks.

Credit: PA

In one task, participants were given three words and asked to think of a word that can be connected to each - for example, the word 'pit' can be attached to 'peach', 'arm' and 'tar'. It is this test that saw scores boosted by almost half.

The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Graz, Austria, who concluded that alcohol helps remove the parameters which surround a problem - the 'mental block' - allowing for more creative thought, and helping drinkers to think outside the box.

The results could mean that when you're struggling to write a best man's speech or trying to be sharp and witty on Tinder, inspiration can be found at the bottom of a pint glass (just the one, mind).

Credit: PA

But silver linings often come attached to a cloud: a quick pint can decrease the 'executive function' of the brain.

So, if you're a painter or decorator, for example, and looking for some fancy inspiration, the pub is not where you'll find it. Alcohol slows productivity for jobs that require motor skill usage.

Lead author Mathias Benedek, of the university's department of psychology, said: "Anecdotal reports link alcohol intoxication to creativity.

"Creative problem-solving tasks are often solved by spontaneous insight and accompanied by 'Aha'-experiences.

Of the study's results, he explained: "Alcohol impaired executive control, but improved performance in the Remote Associates Test.

"Beneficial effects are likely restricted to very modest amounts of alcohol, whereas excessive alcohol consumption typically impairs creative productivity."


And for those who wanted an extra pointer to their boss to install a beer fridge at their place at work, a BBC report suggested that it could help morale, too.

It reads: "With pensions and salaries being squeezed, offering in-office perks has become a way to make workers feel valued and to attract talent."

A bar in the office is an idea that might sit well with millennials, who are often happy to spend longer in their offices unlike the older generation, who tend to prefer to separate personal time and work.

Jon Andrews, who wrote a report for Pricewaterhouse Coopers, said: "Millennials and digital natives don't do it that way [separating office and work] - they blend it all, toggle back and forth, and they're really comfortable with that."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Michael Minay

Mike Minay is a trending journalist at LADbible. He’s co-ordinated interviews with some of the big names from the world of news and sport including ITV’s Robert Peston, Sky Sports’ Jeff Stelling and darts champion Michael van Gerwen. His reporting days began on University radio in Birmingham, before moving to BBC Sport Online – creating content for large events such as Wimbledon and the FA Cup final. Mike still commentates on Football League matches at the weekend. A Manchester LAD at heart.

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