Rightly or wrongly, the writing profession has been associated with people who were famous for their consumption of alcohol. The names are legendary: Edgar Allan Poe, Ernest Hemingway, Dorothy Parker, the list goes on. Is this more than perception or coincidence? Is there a link between alcohol consumption and the writer's art? Alcohol causes so much social harm that I'm a bit reluctant to post the link to this article from the latest issue of ScienceNews
, but nonetheless, here it is:
According to the article, a recent study involving 20 social drinkers came to a startling conclusion: "Getting a buzz from booze may boost creativity." Men were divided into two groups, one of which was plied with drinks until their alcohol blood level was just below the legal level for intoxication in the United States. The "buzzed" group was able to solve an astonishing 50% more of the problems than their sober companions, and the speed at which they solved the problems was 33% faster than the speed at which the sober group reached their solutions. Sans alcohol, both groups did equally well.
Of course one study isn't the final word, 20 subjects isn't a very large sample, and the article sheds few details of what kind of controls were employed, but what do you think? Is the bottle the writer's friend?