Loud music makes people drink faster
When you're at a loud club, do you ever feel like the bass is cheering you on: "chug chug chug?" I don't either, but some new research suggests that loud music increases drinking speed from about 15 minutes a beer to 11.
Some attribute the speedy boozing to anxiety caused by social situations where talking at a normal level isn't an option. Makes sense, I think. Although to be fair, I think the opposite is probably true as well: a silent party also causes a race to the bar.
LONDON (Reuters) - Customers of bars that play loud music drink more quickly and in fewer gulps, French researchers said on Friday.
Their study, published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, found that turning up the music spurred drinkers to down a glass of beer about three minutes more quickly.
To gauge the effect of sound levels on drinking, the team spent three Saturday nights visiting two bars, where they observed 40 men aged between 18 and 25 drinking beer.
"We have shown that environmental music played in a bar is associated with an increase in drinking," Nicolas Gueguen, a behavioural sciences researcher at the University of Southern Brittany in France, who led the study, said in a statement.
"This is an informative and good study that I think a lot of people will identify with, because it makes a lot of sense," said Dr. Marc Galanter, director of the division of alcoholism and drug abuse at the Langone Medical Center at New York University. "Because it seems that loud music throws people off their game and renders them less in control of their capacity to moderate their drinking."
"Everybody is subject to using alcohol to cope with anxiety, whether or not they have a problem with alcohol," he said. "And that's why people drink in social situations. And loud music puts them in a frame of mind where they're less coherent, and maybe somewhat distracted, and in a somewhat altered state of consciousness to some modest measure. And so then, they're less able to exercise control over their behavior in order to moderate their drinking."