Does drinking help inspire your work?

Studies suggest that a couple of drinks can lead to better problem-solving skills and less-inhibited writing. But there are downsides …

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It’s unclear whether Papa actually said those words, although it wouldn’t be too surprising—he did like to imbibe. One study has said that 71 percent of well-known 20th-century authors suffered from alcoholism.

Alcoholism is no laughing matter, of course, but many great writers have found that a drink (or 12) a day helped inspire them. According to two studies, it might inspire your own work—well, at least elicit a wry toast.

In the most recent study, researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago found that after downing a couple of beers, men were better at solving problems. Here’s how the New York Daily News described the study:

“To reach that surprising conclusion, the researchers devised a bar game in which 40 men were given three words and told to come up with a fourth that fits the pattern. “For example, the word ‘cheese’ could fit with words like ‘blue’ or ‘cottage’ or ‘Swiss.’

“Half the players were given two pints. The other half got nothing.

“The result? Those who imbibed solved 40 percent more of the problems than their sober counterparts.

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