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London - It is a finding that could explain why many an alcohol-fuelled approach in a bar ends in failure.
Research shows that alcohol makes us think we are more attractive than we really are.
Even the mere expectation of being tipsy is enough to boost ego.
However, the effects are purely in the mind of the drinker. Sadly for them, others do not find them any more appealing.
The finding comes from researchers who asked 19 men and women drinking in a French bar to rate their own attractiveness and blow into a breathalyser.
The more they had drunk, the more attractive they thought they were, the Journal of Individual Differences reports.
A second experiment revealed that the mere thought of alcohol is enough to boost someone’s opinion of themselves.
Here, 86 young men were told they were taking part in a taste test for a new minty lemon drink.
Some were given an alcoholic version, others the same drink minus the booze. In each case, some were told the drink was alcoholic, others were told it was alcohol-free.
After a short break to allow the alcohol to take its effect, they recorded an advertisement for the fictional drink.
They then watched the tape back and rated their appeal.
This showed that those who thought they were drunk rated themselves more highly than the others, regardless of whether they’d had any alcohol or not.
However, a third experiment showed this to be an illusion.
When the tapes were played back to a panel of university students, they were unimpressed.
The French, US and Dutch researchers believe that memories of glamorous film stars drinking alcohol leads us to associate drinking with attractiveness.
University of Grenoble researcher Laurent Begue said: “Almost everyone thinks they are more attractive after they think they have consumed alcohol.
“However, ratings from independent judges showed that this boost in self-evaluation was unrelated to actual performance.”
The study builds on previous research into the “beer goggle effect” - the fact that we seem to find others more attractive after drinking.
Now, it seems that beer goggles can also work in reverse.
But others have disputed the idea of beer goggles, with a British study concluding that men find women no prettier after drinking.
The Leicester University researchers said: “There was no difference - the men were just as undiscerning as ever.” - Daily Mail