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Go ahead, have a beer at the office

New psychological research shows that mild intoxication can actually boost creative problem solving. So, go ahead. (Hey, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere!)

One benefit of being a business owner and your own boss is that you set the rules and can feel free to break them if you find a good business case to do so. What kind of rules can you safely chuck aside? How about the one that says drinking on the job is always a bad idea.

If you operate heavy machinery or wash windows 50 stories up, stop reading now, but for those office-bound folks whose jobs entail being creative at work, there’s new research that suggests an occassional drink or two might do you and your business some good. A study by a team led by University of Illinois cognitive psychologist Andrew Jarosz recently looked into the effects of mild intoxication on creative problem solving, publishing the results inConsciousness and Cognition.

To test the anecdotal observation that creativity and moderate amounts of alcohol often go together, Jarosz’s team split a group of 40 male study participants into two groups, one of which abstained from alcohol and one of which drank a quantity of vodka with the equivalent alcohol of two pints of beer. Both groups then performed a standard test of insightful thinking called the Remote Associates Test, which asks subjects to find a link between three words. The BPS Research Digest summarises the results:

“The key finding of the new research is that the intoxicated participants solved more items on the Remote Associates Test compared with the control participants (they solved 58 percent of 15 items on average vs. 42 percentaverage success achieved by controls), and they tended to solve the items more quickly (11.54 seconds per item vs. 15.24 seconds). Moreover, the intoxicated participants tended to rate their experience of problem solving as more insightful, like an Aha! moment, and less analytic.”

…to read this article in full, visit leading US small business resource, Inc.

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