Dec 15, 2011

The Louder - The Sweeter

Study has found that alcoholic drinks taste sweeter when loud music is playing.

The research at the University of Portsmouth in England showed that people drink more alcohol at a faster rate in environments where loud music is playing. While it might seem that the inability to talk over loud music might be an important factor, Dr Lorenzo Stafford showed that people perceive their drinks to taste different when the volume is high.

Stafford took 80 regular drinkers between the age of 18 and 28, and asked them to rate several drinks on their strength, sweetness and bitterness while music played in the background at different volumes. He says the drinkers rated their drinks as sweeter when the music was louder.
"Since humans have an innate preference for sweetness, these findings offer a plausible explanation as to why people consume more alcohol in noisy environments," he said. "It also has implications for bars, the drinks industry and local authorities."
He warned, "Although individuals might well expect to consume more alcohol in club type environments anyway, it is important they understand how environment can potentially influence over-consumption and act accordingly."

It could be that the perception of sweetness is more likely to happen to women, as 69 of the participants were female, though it seems correct to say that people drink faster when loud music is playing.

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