Lived through too many booze-induced, hazy nights to deem them true? Well, contrary to popular belief, alcohol may actually be beneficial to our memory.
According to a recent study published in Psychopharmacology, participants who consumed alcohol after witnessing a crime actually recalled details during a testimony better than their completely sober counterparts.
The study took place as follows; eighty three participants were shown a video of a staged theft, where robbers went to a home and left with various items, including jewelry and a laptop. After the video was shown, participants were split into three groups. The first group was given alcohol and was completely aware of what they were drinking; the second group was given what they were told was non-alcoholic beer, though it actually did contain booze, and the third group was given no alcohol whatsoever.
Each “witness” returned to the lab the following day, sober, to recount information seen in the video, and were provided with false information regarding what they saw – for example, the witnesses were told that the thieves’ hair colors and sweater colors were different than what they actually were. In a surprising twist of events, participants from the alcohol-free group were more likely to agree with the false information they were prompted with than their alcohol-consuming counterparts. And it doesn’t stop there– these same participants were more adamant about agreeing with the false information they received.
The researchers attribute this to “alcohol block[ing] new incoming information, including misinformation, so it is less likely to have a negative impact on what was witnessed.” A statement has also been made by the publication that they are “fully aware that further research is needed.”