11.28.2005

Hey, don't shoot the messenger. This is science.

However...8 pints?! Oh my god...

Boffins crack "Beer Goggles"

By Nick Buchan
November 25, 2005

SCIENTISTS have figured out why alcohol makes ugly people seem more attractive - otherwise known as the "beer goggles" effect.

Far from being a simple matter of how much you have to drink, the researchers have devised a complex formula which takes into account the level of light in the pub or club, the drinkers' own eyesight, the smokiness of the room and the distance between two people.

A phenomenon which has caught out millions of people over the years, the beer goggles effect refers to how having too much to drink can make someone you find repulsive suddenly exude all the charms and allure of a supermodel.

While getting intimate with the person may seem like a good idea at the time, it's only the morning after when you realise that the Angelina Jolie superbabe you hooked up with the night before actually resembles Margaret Thatcher in the cold harsh light of day.

And while many of us have worn beer goggles over the years, no-one has ever worked out exactly why alcohol has this strange effect on our judgement.

Until now.

"The beer goggles effect isn't solely dependent on how much alcohol a person consumes, there are other influencing factors at play too," said Professor Nathan Efron, Professor of Clinical Optometry at the University of Manchester. Amazingly, scientists now believe you don't even need to have had an alcoholic drink to suffer from the beer goggles effect.

"The formula shows for example, that a person with poor vision who's talking to someone in a very smoky bar will be experiencing a beer goggles effect close to someone who has consumed eight pints in a smoke-free and well-lit room."

The formula can work out a final score to measure the effect.

  • A score of less than 1 means no beer goggle effect - an ugly person remains ugly.
  • A score of 1-50 means a slight beer goggle effect - making a person you would normally find very unattractive slightly less "visually offensive".
  • A moderate beer goggle effect is indicated by a score of between 50-100- a person who is by no means appealing becomes suddenly sexually attractive.
  • A score of more than 100 indicates a severe beer goggle effect - the "fugly" you were talking to an hour ago now looks like Kylie Minogue or George Clooney.
For example, someone with normal vision who has drunk five pints of beer and see someone 1.5 metres away in a fairly smoky and poorly lit room will score 55, which means that they would suffer from a moderate beer goggle effect.

Increasing beer consumption to eight pints (2.8 litres) increases that score of 140, leading to a severe beer goggle effect.''

The research was carried out by an eyewear firm, which surveyed more than 1000 members of a speed dating club.

The poll showed 68 per cent of respondents had woken up the next morning regretting giving their number to somebody who they later realised they weren't attracted to.

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