- Whether people were drunk had no effect on how attractive they found others
Down the years many a regrettable moment has been blamed on so-called beer goggles.
But it seems all those morning after the night before excuses will no longer wash.
For scientists now reckon drinking alcohol does not make others appear better looking – but simply gives people the confidence to approach someone they already find attractive.
Previous research on the beer goggles phenomenon typically had participants rate photos of others for attractiveness while sober and again after drinking.
For the latest US study a more realistic element was added – the possibility of meeting those being rated.
Previous research on the beer goggles phenomenon typically had participants rate photos of others for attractiveness while sober and again after drinking
Dr Molly Bowdring and Dr Michael Sayette, from Stanford University, brought 18 pairs of male friends in their 20s to have a drink in a laboratory and then rate the attractiveness of images of people.
The idea of using pairs was to mimic the social interactions that would typically take place in a real drinking situation.
The team found whether or not participants were intoxicated had no effect on how good-looking they found others.
However, drinking did affect how likely the men were to want to interact with people they found attractive.
The research, published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, said that offering the possibility of meeting or flirting with a ‘target’ was where ‘alcohol exerted its impact’.
It suggested the notion of beer goggles could actually mean ‘liquid courage’.