Beer goggles

Study proves drinking makes members of opposite sex look more attractive

Aug 19, 2002 - Scientists in Scotland have found proof of the so-called "beer goggles" effect. They discovered that men and women who have consumed a moderate amount of alcohol find the faces of the opposite sex 25% more attractive than their sober counterparts.


And the study revealed that there was no difference in the beer goggles effect between men and women.

Students at Glasgow University were shown color photographs of 120 male and female St. Andrews University students aged 18 to 26. Participants were asked to rate their aesthetic properties on a scale of between one -- highly unattractive -- to seven -- highly attractive.

Half of the students had drunk up to four units of alcohol, equivalent to two pints of beer or two-and-a-half glasses of wine. The 40 who had been drinking rated the people in the photographs as broadly more attractive than those not drinking.

"Everyone`s heard of the beer goggles effect but we wanted to measure once and for all whether a moderate amount of alcohol increases the judgment of facial attractiveness," said Prof. Barry Jone of Glasgow University psychology department.

"The increase in perceived attractiveness appeared to be the same for the ugly people as the pretty people, he said. "Attractiveness provides a very important signal of mate quality, it shows you have good genes and a healthy body."

The beer goggles phenomenon is caused by alcohol stimulating the part of the human brain which is used to determine facial attractiveness, the nucleus accumbens, he said.

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