Good news for people wanting to finding a way to slow down their booze intake: Researchers from the University of Bristol's Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group found that pub-goers tend to slow down when drinking out of a straight glass compared to a curved one, and that glasses with measurement markings also curb chugging times.
This is also good news for people wanting to speed up their booze intake.
In what sounds like the best reason to answer those back-page ads calling for participants in scientific studies, a group of 160 men and women basically went on a free bar crawl at three local pubs, where they downed booze in the name of science. Researchers insisted on taking the group out of the lab and into to the bars to mimic real-world situations as much as possible. After all, not every lab is equipped with dartboards, the lingering smell of chips, and a jukebox that only plays "The Boys Are Back in Town."
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At each of the three bars, the lab rats were split into two groups. One group drank beer from curved glasses marked with volume amounts while the other group drank from unmarked curved glasses. The researchers found the group with the marked glasses took a minute more to finish than the unmarked group.
Another experiment had the groups drinking out of straight glasses and curved glasses, and found that those who drank out of straight glasses also drank slower than the other group.
"It seems it's more difficult to tell how much you're drinking from a curved glass," researcher David Troy told The Daily Mail, adding that the reason for the study was to understand the environmental factors that cause people to overindulge.
"Our research suggests that small changes, such as glass shape and volume markings, can help individuals make more accurate judgments of the volume they are drinking, and hopefully will use this information to drink at a slower pace," says researcher Angela Attwood.
The results of this study will be presented at the British Psychological Society's Annual Conference in Liverpool this week. You just know the attendees will be testing out this theory at the pub next door.
Of course, testing out this theory with just 160 people at three pubs hardly make these findings conclusive, as Troy says the results are preliminary and "need to be treated with caution."
Still, to play it safe, if you want a beer but want to resist the urge to slam it down for an instant buzz: ask the bartender to serve it in a Pyrex measuring cup. Similarly, bar owners should now only serve booze out of fish bowls to get customers drinking more.