A group of scientists has confirmed what many might already know, beer makes people happier, more social, enhances levels of empathy, and reduces sex shyness.

The investigation from Switzerland’s University Hospital of Basel took into account how people interact and respond after a few bottles of beer. Results demonstrate that subjects felt more social and more relaxed about discussing sexual relationships after drinking beer. Researchers studied 60 healthy men and women after they had a few drinks of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beer to test their social skills. The study analyzed face recognition, empathy, and sexual arousal.

François Jaques: Peasants Enjoying Beer at Pub in Fribourg. Image credit: Wikipedia.

As the authors explained, there’s a lot of information on the subject because of frequent and personal knowledge. However, there aren’t many scientific studies on the matter.

“Although many people drink beer and know its effects from personal experience there is surprisingly little scientific data on its effects on the processing of emotional and social information,” said Professor Matthias Liechti, lead researcher of the study.

Beer = Sociability  

The first thing researchers noted was that people that drank had more desires of being with other people. They also externalized happier comments and showed higher desires to discuss subjects and talk, in comparison with their non-drinking peers.

Those who drank a few beers were able to recognize happy faces in a quicker way and had more emotional empathy towards participants that showed lower emotional levels.

“In 2015, the U.S. beer industry shipped (sold) 206.7 million barrels of beer – equivalent to more than 2.8 billion cases of 24-12 ounce servings,” said America’s Beer Distributors. Image credit: Images Buddy.

Researchers put emphasis on sexual arousal when conducting the study. They showed explicit sexual images to drinkers and non-drinkers and asked them to categorize them as pleasant or not pleasant.

Those who drank non-alcoholic beer categorized the images as less pleasant than those who had had a few beers. Women seemed to find the images more attractive than men. However, researchers note that they didn’t show sexual arousal towards them.

The study was published in the journal Psychopharmacology and presented in a recent Conference in Vienna, involving the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology.

“The sex differences in the findings can either be explained by differences in blood alcohol concentration between males and females with the same alcohol intake, differences in tolerance due to differences in previous levels of alcohol consumption or by socio-cultural factors,” Professor Wilm, chairman of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology, who wasn’t involved in the study, told the BBC.

Source:  Science Daily