Science Says The Smell Of Alcohol Can Get You Drunk...
The Debrief: Is smelling the new drinking?
A recent study published in the journal of Psychopharmacology from Edge Hill University took a sample of 40 individuals (21 females and 19 males), at a median age of 23, and had them wear face masks infused with alcohol or a non-alcoholic solution. The scientists concluded that ‘By highlighting that exposure to alcohol-related olfactory cues may impede response inhibition, the results indicate that exposure to such stimuli may contribute to the activation of cognitive responses which may drive consumption’. If you’re not versed in scientific terminology, this basically means that the smell of alcohol alone can make you act drunk.
What did the test involve?
The test they undertook while wearing the masks is called the ‘go/no-go association task’, or in other words it’s an impulse-testing computer task; the participants had to press a button if they either saw the letter ‘K’ or an image of a beer bottle on the screen. Doesn’t sound too hard, right?
However, those with the masks infused with booze performed worse than those inhaling the citrus solution. Meaning that smelling alcohol leads to poor impulse control. A side-effect that probably sounds very familiar for anyone who likes a good tipple!
The findings don’t mean you can get wasted just by the smell of alcohol alone, but they do mean that the smell may lead you to drinking- even when you weren’t planning on it, as the smell causes us to have less self-control.
Great news if you want to consume your alcohol without having to actually taste it, but not so good if you’re trying to stay sober…just don’t breathe inhale too deeply when you’re at the pub!
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