Beer drinkers’ speed may be linked to the shape of glass, according to researchers at the University of Bristol. Researchers believe that the results of this study could lead to better ways of dealing with issues associated with drunkenness.
The researchers asked 160 adults aged 18-40 to participate in two experimental sessions. During the first session, participants were asked to drink beer or a non-alcoholic soft drink from a straight-sided glass or a curved glass. The researchers found that the participants drank slower when drinking beer from the straight-sided glass. However, the researchers noted that there was no difference in drinking speed when the drink was non-alcoholic.
The researchers believe that people drink faster out of a curved glass because they are not able to accurately measure how much they have had. The researchers confirmed this belief by asking participants to look at computer images of the curved glass and straight-sided glass with different volumes of beer. The participants made more errors when trying to pick the halfway point of the curved glass.
“Due to the personal and societal harms associated with heavy bouts of drinking, there has been a lot of recent interest in alcohol control strategies. While many people drink alcohol responsibly, it is not difficult to have ‘one too many’ and become intoxicated. Because of the negative effects alcohol has on decision making and control of behaviour, this opens us up to a number of risks,” said Dr. Angela Attwood of the University of Bristol in a statement.
“People often talk of ‘pacing themselves’ when drinking alcohol as a means of controlling levels of drunkenness, and I think the important point to take from our research is that the ability to pace effectively may be compromised when drinking from certain types of glasses.”
The findings were published recently in the journal PLoS ONE.