To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Why we get 'beer goggles' debunked by scientists

Why we get 'beer goggles' debunked by scientists

Scientists have cleared up the theory behind 'beer goggles' and how a few drinks can blur our sense of attractiveness.

The idea of 'beer goggles' has long been a humorous, if not slightly embarrassing, aspect of social drinking.

The term describes people seeing others as more visually attractive after a few drinks.

And it explains why your mate might go for someone that isn't usually their 'type' after consuming one too many vodka cokes.

In a study that might change how we view our pub crawls, researchers from the University of Portsmouth delved into whether alcohol alters our perception of beauty.

Alcohol impairs our ability to detect facial symmetry /Witthaya Prasongsin/Getty
Alcohol impairs our ability to detect facial symmetry /Witthaya Prasongsin/Getty

99 participants sampled from a real pub environment - aged between 18 and 62 - were asked to rate attractiveness before and after consuming alcohol.

A spokesperson for the study said: 'The term 'beer goggles' has been used for decades to describe when a person finds themselves sexually attracted to someone while intoxicated, but not sober.'

The study, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, found that while alcohol impairs our ability to detect facial symmetry - a key factor often linked to attractiveness - it doesn't necessarily make us find others more attractive.

The spokesperson said: 'Existing research has shown that a part of what makes people attractive to others is how well both sides of their face match.

'The thinking goes, the more symmetry the better the gene pool. But when alcohol is introduced, it's thought a person is less likely to notice if the faces around them are non-symmetrical.'

Basically, alcohol blurs the rules of attraction and can make certain people seem more appealing than if you were sober.

Scientists have debunked the 'beer goggles' phenomenon / Janina Steinmetz/Getty
Scientists have debunked the 'beer goggles' phenomenon / Janina Steinmetz/Getty

Dr. Alistair Harvey, from the university's department of psychology, said: 'Alcohol is a strong predictor of sexual behaviour, often consumed before or during dates.'

He affirms that the blurriness for attractiveness may not just be down to detecting face symmetry. Instead, alcohol's impact on our social and cognitive functions might be the real culprit.

Reduced inhibition, heightened emotions, and altered social interactions under the influence might play a more larger role in perceived attractiveness than facial symmetry.

Dr. Harvey went on to explain the limitation of the study's results when applying them to real life situations: 'We don't deny the existence of a 'beer goggles' effect but we suspect it would be more easily detectable when using live models for an experiment, instead of static photographs.'

Attractiveness is made up of more than just facial symmetry which is not truly reflected in a static photograph of someone - especially if it's not our finest angle!

'Images conceal a range of important visual criteria for attractiveness, including build, body shape, height, expression, and clothing,' Dr. Harvey continued.

He concluded that 'further research is needed to find the missing piece to the puzzle.'

Featured Image Credit: Janina Steinmetz / Witthaya Prasongsin / Getty