Uncorking the muse: alcohol intoxication facilitates creative problem solving

Conscious Cogn. 2012 Mar;21(1):487-93. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2012.01.002. Epub 2012 Jan 30.


That alcohol provides a benefit to creative processes has long been assumed by popular culture, but to date has not been tested. The current experiment tested the effects of moderate alcohol intoxication on a common creative problem solving task, the Remote Associates Test (RAT). Individuals were brought to a blood alcohol content of approximately .075, and, after reaching peak intoxication, completed a battery of RAT items. Intoxicated individuals solved more RAT items, in less time, and were more likely to perceive their solutions as the result of a sudden insight. Results are interpreted from an attentional control perspective.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / psychology*
  • Attention*
  • Creativity*
  • Executive Function*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Problem Solving*
  • United States
  • Word Association Tests