Mythbusters Tackle Beer Goggles

Yesterday's episode of Mythbusters took on beer goggles. Here's what they did. They had 30 faces that Jamie, Adam and Kari rated while sober on a 10 point Likert scale. Then they got buzzed - Jamie and Adam drank 3 beers and Kari 2 beers - and rated different faces that other participants had rated equally attractive for Jamie, Adam and Kari. Afterwards they got drunk by drinking many more beers and rated different faces that were rated equally attractive by other participants.

Their results were a bit odd:
  • Jamie's ratings increased from buzzed to drunk but were highest while sober
  • Adam's ratings were steadily higher from sober to drunk
  • Kari's ratings improved from buzzed to drunk but decreased from sober to buzzed

They deemed the myth plausible but there are some confounds to consider like experimenter bias.  Jamie seemed intent on proving that he was not affected by the beer goggles effect.  Adam appeared to want the beer goggles to gain some credence through evidence.  To eliminate this bias they of course should have used participants who were unaware of the aim of the experiment using blind procedures.  They also should have accounted for the placebo effect by using a more complex experimental structure that would have used 2 groups who received either non-alcoholic or alcoholic beer.

Check out the video here

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