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[xmca] groundbreaking research using categorization tasks
As AERA begins, and as we wish Mike Cole a happy birthday today, I think it's appropriate to acknowledge that the sort of categorizing tasks that Luria used in Uzbekistan, and that Mike and Sylvia Scribner adapted in Liberia, are still being used to study the recesses of the human mind. For your consideration:
Study: Beer fuels male creativity
10:57 am April 12, 2012, by George Mathis
It's long been known that beer makes women prettier, but a new study concludes beer also makes men more creative.
The New York Daily News reports<http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/beer-men-smarter-study-article-1.1059752?localLinksEnabled=false> the experiment, like most really good ones, was conducted in a bar. The article does not say who paid for the study, but I'm thinking it was a group of men or a beer company.
"We found at 0.07 blood alcohol, people were worse at working memory tasks, but they were better at creative problem-solving tasks," psychologist Jennifer Wiley, who presumably was not drinking, says in the article, which I have forwarded to my wife.
Wiley parrots what any man who has had to come up with an excuse for running late while sitting on a bar stool will tell you: "Sometimes the really creative stuff comes out when you're [drinking]."
For the experiment, conducted by University of Illinois researchers, a group of 40 men was given three words and asked to provide a fourth word that fits a pattern. For example, "marine mammal," "Heidi Klum," "divorce" could be followed by "Seal."
Half the men remained dimwittingly sober, while the other half was given two pints (hopefully of a microbrew) and likely began flirting with waitresses and/or researchers.
The men who drank solved 40% more of the problems than their sober counterparts. Also, the drinkers finished their problems in 12 seconds while it took the non-drinkers 15.5 seconds, the Daily News reports.
Women did not participate in the study, perhaps because men can't think straight around such delightful creatures, according to an earlier study<http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/study-finds-men-suffer-mental-decline-thinking-women-article-1.1038382>.
The Daily News article also cites the literary genius of famed drinkers Ernest Hemingway and Charles Bukowski, but not George Mathis.
Alas, it was almost the perfect scientific study.
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