Alcohol (Like Pot) Improves Remote Associates Test Performance

Same as pot (no cite for that - sorry):

New research indicates that alcohol, which many a moody poet has indulged in, may actually increase creativity. Psychologists Andrew F. JaroszGregory J.H. Colflesh, and Jennifer Wiley recruited 40 males, got half of them a little tipsy on vodka, and then subjected them to the “Remote Associates Test,” which tests insightful thinking.  Their results, as summarized by the BPS Research Digest, were surprisingly good:

The key finding of the new research is that the intoxicated participants solved more items on the Remote Associates Test compared with the control participants (they solved 58 per cent of 15 items on average vs. 42 per cent average success achieved by controls), and they tended to solve the items more quickly (11.54 seconds per item vs. 15.24 seconds). Moreover, the intoxicated participants tended to rate their experience of problem solving as more insightful, like an Aha! moment, and less analytic. They also performed worse on a working memory test, as you might expect. 


I wonder if increased RAT performance is even remotely a good thing. I think the idea of altered brain states for creativity is plausible (if you’re stuck in a rut and want to explore). I just wonder how to trigger them without causing lasting damage.