The Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group (TARG) at the university is conducting the second wave of experiments in three Bristol pubs this weekend to gauge whether alcohol changes people’s perceptions of what is attractive.
It follows lab tests in which subjects were invited to drink an alcoholic or non-alcoholic placebo drink and were then shown images of 20 male faces, 20 female faces and 20 landscapes. Researcher said attractiveness ratings were higher in the alcohol compared to the placebo group, supporting the Beer Goggles hypothesis.
Now the aim is to test how the experiment works in the more realistic setting of a pub. Starting last weekend the team is carrying out the test over four nights at three Dawkins Ales pubs - the Green Man, the Portcullis and the Victoria.
Olivia Maynard, a research associate at TARG, 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 can see when people are drunk – such as unprotected sex.
“The response has been great so far – we had 187 people take part last week. It has also thrown up ideas of other experiments we could carry out in the pub.”
Maynard said results of the test were likely to available within four weeks but indications from the lab tests were that there is some basis to the notion of Beer Goggles.
The final experiments will be held tonight and tomorrow between 5pm and 11pm.
For more information about the experiment go to the University of Bristol website.