University of Michigan study finds people holding beer look less intelligent


  • How intelligent does this guy look? (Photo by Jaume Escofet, Flickr Creative Commons)
A new study released by the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania claims that just holding a beer in hand can make you seem less intelligent, and less hireble.

Via Science Direct:

Across five studies, we find that in the absence of any evidence of reduced cognitive performance, people who hold an alcoholic beverage are perceived to be less intelligent than those who do not, a mistake we term the imbibing idiot bias. In fact, merely priming observers with alcohol cues causes them to judge targets who hold no beverage at all as less intelligent. 

In layman's terms: We're so used to seeing people who drink turn into dumb asses, that even when we see someone just holding a drink, we expect them to act like an idiot.

This effect is particularly powerful in professional settings, the study says. "Job candidates who ordered wine during an interview held over dinner were viewed as less intelligent and less hireable than candidates who ordered soda. However, prospective candidates believe that ordering wine rather than soda will help them appear more intelligent."

Well, now you know.

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