It seems that as well as providing drinkers with beer goggles, the mere act of consuming alcohol can make you more attractive to a bystander. Well, college-student bystanders anyway.
Scientists at the University of Houston quizzed a group of students, and found they rated social drinkers as more attractive than teetotallers. Heavy drinkers scored the poorest, while recovering alcoholics fared better and beat the non-drinkers.
A study group of 594 heterosexual undergraduate students from a university in Southern America were asked to rate a collection of 25 photos based on their appearance. A mark for attractiveness, intelligence, likeability and approachability was graded on a 0-7 scale.
One of four statements was used to describe the photos; this college student frequently drinks heavily, this college student drinks socially on occasion, this college student never drinks and this college student is a recovering alcoholic and therefore abstains from using alcohol.
Social drinkers came out top with an average score of 3.69, with the recovering alcoholics not far behind with 3.42. Third place went to the group that said no to booze with 3.27, while heavy drinkers chugged behind with 2.86.
The descriptions were altered as the group were quizzed, meaning researchers could conclude it was the labels that impacted the results rather than the photos themselves.
The study is published in the journal Addictive Behaviours, with researchers suggesting moderate drinking can be socially associated with being cool in western countries.
The team also uncovered a psychological phenomenon called homophily in the results. Homophily is described as the tendency individuals have to associate and bond with those similar to them.
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