04 April 2012

The Reason Behind Beer Goggles

We've had various "well obviously" moments from scientifici studies over the past few months, and this may well be another one. Although there is one small result that may still surprise a few people.

Released this week is the astonishing news that scientists have found a reason for the fabled beer goggles. Now, we all know they exist and they effect some more than others so lets not getting into pointless stories about waking up next to.....and so on. However before we get into the results there are a few things we should all know.

Facial symmetry is attractive. People who's faces mirror each other are more attractive than people who's faces do not. It is thought this is a product of evolution, and amongst other cues is a sign of good genes and therefore good breeding and strong children. We also know that attractiveness increases after a few drinks, regardless of whether they are beer goggles, or expensive champagne goggles, the effect is the same.

Volunteers at Roehampton University entered into a study where they were given 20 photographs of peoples faces, some of which had been manipulated to change the symmetry. Participants were then asked to rate the photos before and after consuming alcohol. Results showed that people's ability to recognise symmetry was impaired as the drinking increased.

Interestingly it was actually women who made the most mistakes and thus were affected by beer goggles the most and not men. This is maybe the most interesting thing to take away from the study, as more often than not stories of impaired partner choices have come from male friends and rarely females.

Dr Lewis Halsey had this to say on the research

"What we have shown is that people's ability to detect symmetry is part of the explanation for the beer goggle effects.

"The consequences could be considerable. A lot of people say they met their partner when they were drunk. Are their marriages shorter or longer lasting? Does it change the nature of the relationship?"

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