Does drinking make you more creative?

June 26, 2012[ssba]

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“There’s an academic study suggesting that it’s true,” said Lloyd Dangle, who was graphically recording the recent PromaxBDA conference for entertainment marketing professionals. “I got to draw pictures of cocktails and drunk geniuses.”

Andy Jarosz, a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago thinks so, he’s the author of a research paper titled “Uncorking the Muse: Alcohol Intoxication Facilitates Creative Problem Solving.

The research suggests that moderate intoxication — just shy of being legally drunk — is enough to loosen most people up so they can find connections between ideas. There are preliminary findings from other studies that show the same effect might result from other ways of inducing a relaxed mental state — like watching an uplifting movie or using biofeedback techniques.

Warm showers do the trick, too.

Excerpted sketchnotes of Jonah Lehrer's talk

Relaxation seems to be gaining ground in the creativity research. Jonah Lehrer, who was also a speaker at the PromaxBDA Conference, points to the importance of daydreaming to creative insight. His recent book Imagine: How Creativity Works, points to research which shows that alpha waves are key to connecting the dots in a particular problem. Alpha waves can be stimulated by daydreaming, or byt taking a shower.

It’s interesting that beer made an appearance in the graphics from Jonah Lehrer’s talk, too. Why not double up the relaxation, and take a beer shower?