A new study has finally confirmed that drinking beer could influence how people process social emotional information, allowing them to recognize happy faces faster and to have a more tolerant sexual perception.
The study, published in the journal Psychopharmacology, suggests that drinking beer will make people see happy faces faster and will most likely want to be with others in a happy social situation. Additionally, the study found that beer could also make it easier for people to view explicit images.
"We found that drinking a glass of beer helps people see happy faces faster, and enhances concern for positive emotional situations. Alcohol also facilitates the viewing of sexual images, consistent with disinhibition," explained lead author Matthias Liechti from the University Hospital in Basel, Switzerland, in a press release.
For the study, the researchers recruited 60 healthy individuals aged 18 to 50 years. The researchers divided the participants into two groups consisting of 30 individuals. The first group was given a glass of alcoholic beer, while the second group was given non-alcoholic beer, to serve as controls.
Each participant was then given tasks, including a face recognition test, empathy test and sexual arousal test. After the test, the control and the experimental groups were switched, in which the first group was given the non-alcoholic beer and the second group was given alcoholic beer. They then once again performed the same tasks.
The researchers discovered that the participants, who drank the alcoholic beer, were able to see happy faces quickly and tend to group with other during happy social situations. Beer could also influence a person's sexual perception, making it easier for them to view explicit images.
However, the researchers noted that beer does not promote greater sexual arousal. Furthermore, the researchers found no difference in the levels of oxytocin between the before and after of the drinking experiment, suggesting that beer's social emotional effects lies elsewhere.
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