Want to feel more attractive? A new study says that a surefire way to boost your confidence is to knock back an alcoholic beverage. No, it was not conducted by scientists at No Shit University, it was done by actual psychologists in France who discovered something else that's even more interesting: It turns out you don't even need to drink real alcohol to get the effect of feeling more attractive. You only need to think you've had a drink.
The experiment, which was led by Laurent Begue at the Pierre-Mendes France University, first asked 19 drinkers in a bar (two-thirds of who were men) to rank their attractiveness on a scale from one to seven. They then measured their alcohol levels using a breathalyzer and discovered that the more booze they'd had, the more attractive the people rated themselves.
Next, they invited 94 men to a lab to test a new fruit cocktail which they said a company was doing market research on. The volunteers were told that half of them would be given an alcoholic version and the other half would get a non-alcohol version, but they wouldn't know who got what. After serving the drinks, they had the men write and deliver messages, which they filmed under the pretext that they'd be used to advertise for the new drink "brand." Each man was asked to watch his film and rate his performance for "attractiveness, brightness, originality and humour." They then measured their concentrations of alcohol, and the men ranged from zero up to twice the legal limit for drunk-driving.
You'd think that, again, the higher the alcohol level the more attractive the men would have found themselves, but no! Those who believed they'd had alcohol gave themselves the highest marks, whether they'd actually had any or not. Those who thought they hadn't had anything to drink gave themselves the lowest marks, even when they'd unknowingly drunk a big shot of pure alcohol.
It's likely that the buzz which allowed people to feel happy with themselves was just a placebo effect—because we assume after drinking that we'll feel more free and easy. So, the good news is, you don't actually need alcohol to feel prettier. You just need to fake yourself out. But here's the sad ending to all of this: While the men felt more attractive after "drinking," other people didn't feel the same way about them. A panel of independent judges watched the films, and it turned out the men who thought they were on a roll actually got lower ratings from the judges. Ouch. That explains why you can feel like you are so amazing when you're talking to someone at the end of the night, and they're just looking at you like you're a cardboard box. But, that's why beer goggles were invented. They hide—and facilitate—a multitude of sins.
Image via Dmitriy Shironosov/Shutterstock.