BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Scotland  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Sunday, 18 August, 2002, 10:50 GMT 11:50 UK
'Beauty is in the eye of the beerholder'
Pints on a bar
Scientists examined the reality of "beer goggles"
Beauty may be in the eye of the beer holder rather than the beholder, according to a new study by scientists.

Academics in Scotland have found proof of the so-called "beer goggles" effect, following a study involving 80 students.

The researchers wanted to measure the infamous phenomenon by which members of the opposite sex become more attractive more alcohol is consumed.

They found that men and women who have drunk a moderate amount of alcohol find the faces of the opposite sex 25% more attractive than their sober counterparts.

Helena Christensen
Anyone can look like this after a few drinks!

The study also revealed there was no difference in the beer goggle effect between men and women.

Students at Glasgow University were shown colour photos of 120 male and female students from St Andrews University aged 18 to 26.

Participants were asked to rate their aesthetic properties on a scale of between one - highly unattractive - to seven - highly attractive.

Half of the students had drunk up to four units of alcohol, equivalent to a maximum of around two pints of lager or two-and-a-half glasses of wine.

The 40 tipsy aesthetes rated the people in the photographs as broadly more attractive than their abstemious counterparts.

Professor Barry Jones, from Glasgow University's psychology department and his fellow academic, Ben Jones, from St Andrews University, led the study.

George Clooney
The effect works for women as well

Prof Jones said: "Everyone's heard of the beer goggles effect but we wanted to measure once and for all whether a moderate amount of alcohol increases the judgement of facial attractiveness.

"The increase in perceived attractiveness appeared to be the same for the ugly people as the pretty people.

"Attractiveness provides a very important signal of mate quality, it shows you have good genes and a healthy body."

He said the beer goggles phenomenon is caused by alcohol stimulating the part of the human brain which is used to determine facial attractiveness, the nucleus accumbens.

The academic, whose previous studies have found that a moderate alcohol intake can increase the risk of having unprotected sex, will present his latest findings at the International Congress on Behavioural Medicine in Finland later this month.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Barry Jones, Professor of Psychology
"When females look at males there's an increase in facial attractiveness rating of about 25 per cent"
See also:

16 Jul 02 | Scotland
20 Mar 02 | UK
07 Aug 99 | Education
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Scotland stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Scotland stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes