Attractiveness ratings were higher for all three image types among the alcohol group compared to the placebo group. The study leaders said this confirmed the beer goggle hypothesis, which claims people become more attractive to the opposite sex after a few drinks, and less so when they're sober again. Stock image pictured

Finding people more attractive after a few drinks has long been known as the 'beer goggle' effect - but experts are divided about whether this phenomenon actually exists.

To put it to the test, researchers from Bristol conducted lab experiments to gauge whether drink changed people's perceptions of what is attractive.

Volunteers were asked to look at photos of men, women and landscapes before and after drinking - and in every category alcohol affected their perceptions.  

 

The volunteers were divided into two groups - one group drank just one alcoholic drink, while the other drank a non-alcoholic placebo drink.

Among the images there were 20 male faces, 20 female faces and 20 landscapes.

 

Researchers from the University of Bristol's Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group (TARG) said attractiveness ratings were higher for all three image types among the alcohol group compared to the placebo group.

The study leaders said this confirmed the beer goggle hypothesis, which claims people become more attractive to the opposite sex after a few drinks.

Now the Bristol team is extending the research into the more realistic setting of a pub.

It is conducting tests over four nights at three pubs in Bristol: the Green Man, the Portcullis and the Victoria.

Researcher Olivia Maynard said: 'It's a bit of fun, but there is a serious message.

'If alcohol does change perceptions of attractiveness then that could be a factor in the kind of risky behaviour you see when people are drunk, such as unprotected sex.'



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