Are You More Attractive When You're Drunk?

You've heard of "beer goggles" — the idea that when you're drunk you find people more attractive than you might when you're sober. Well, turns out that after you've had a drink it's not just other people that appear more attractive. You might just look better, too.

Why we're covering this:

  • It's St. Patrick's Day, so you miiiiiight be planning to have a beer or two.
  • Because alcohol effects perception in ways we never even realized.

How Does It Work?

A study at Bristol University took three headshots of students, each photo depicting the student at various levels of sobriety: sober, after consuming one drink, and after consuming more than one drink. The photos were presented to participants in pairs: sober and after one drink; then sober and after more than one drink. The students in the photos were rated as more attractive after consuming one drink than when they were sober or more intoxicated.

But Why?

So why does this happen? It's thought to be because after consuming one drink, the students had a slightly rosier complexion, which can be a sign of good physical health. The study authors had other ideas, too. "It could be that the participants' faces showed greater pupil dilation (a trait that is usually perceived as positive by a viewer), or more muscle relaxation that made them look more attractive after one drink, but not after two," explains Live Science.

Written by Curiosity Staff March 14, 2016

Curiosity uses cookies to improve site performance, for analytics and for advertising. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies, our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.