Is there a correlation between loud music and fast drinking?Drinking Buddies
We have all drowned our sorrows in different ways at one time or another in our lives, but who would have ever thought that loud music and not our problems were responsible for the increase in our consumption? According to news sources, a study published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research involved observing 40 young male beer drinkers in two bars in a city in Western France over the course of three Saturday evenings (by some standards, the loneliest night of the week).
Researchers manipulated the sound levels with permission granted by the bar owners, between 72 decibels (considered typical) and 88 decibels (considered high) of the top 40 songs playing in the bar and then selected random males drinking beer to observe. Sound levels were again manipulated after each participant left the bar. The results indicated a correlation between loud music and the tendency of bar patrons to drink more and faster. When the music was loud, bar patrons ordered an average of 3.4 drinks and took less than 11.5 minutes to finish a glass of beer compared with an average of 2.6 drinks and 14.5 minutes to finish a drink when the music was at normal levels.
How does this study differ from previous research done on this subject?
According to researcher, Nicolas Gueguen, professor of behavioral sciences at the Universite de Bretagne-Sud in France:
“Previous research had shown that fast music can cause fast drinking, and that music versus no music can cause a person to spend more time in a bar. This is the first time that an experimental approach in a real context found the effects of loud music on alcohol consumption. We have shown that environmental music played in a bar is associated with an increase in drinking. We need to encourage bar owners to play music at a more moderate level ... and make consumers aware that loud music can influence their alcohol consumption."
What is the reason for this connection between loud music and increased alcohol consumption?
Researchers believe there are two reasons for the association between drinking habits and loud music. One concerns the fact that high sound levels may induce arousal and the other is that such music may actually have a negative effect on the drinker’s social interaction and thus, instead of talking, patrons drink.
Whatever the case, when it comes to drinking in a bar, it would seem that the ears as well as the life you save may well be your own.