Posts Tagged ‘Alcohol’

Unemployed security guard tapped as Spain’s top snoozer [via CNN]

Unemployed Ecuadoran security guard Pedro Soria Lopez, 62, won the inaugural Spanish National Siesta Championship after napping “for 17 minutes and register a 70-decibel snore while sprawled out on a couch in the middle of a crowded shopping mall.” Lopez and hundreds of other contestants had 20 minutes in which to nap (the ideal length for an energy-boosting snooze, experts say) and received extra points for form, pajamas and snore loudness. The grand prize was €1,000 in credit at the Madrid mall.

Crocodile blamed for Congo air crash [via MSNBC]

According to the lone survivor of an August 25 plane crash in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a crocodile that escaped from a duffel bag and frightened passengers sparked panic on the aircraft that ultimately led to the accident that killed 20 people. The routine flight from Kinshasa to Bandundu went awry when the crocodile, snuck on board by a passenger who apparently planned on selling the reptile, forced the flight attendant and passengers toward the cockpit, destabilizing the plane and bringing it to a fiery crash. The crocodile reportedly survived and was later killed by a machete.

Booze-Friendly Hospitals Aim to End Patient Woes [via NPR]

A Fort Wayne, Ind. Hospital is hoping to waylay patients complaints about stereotypically bad hospital food with a little booze — though it’s BYOB. Patients and families can bring in alcohol if doctors approve of the consumption, and as a bonus are serving steak dinners before patients’ discharge. Not all are happy with the policy, however; Susan Levin of the Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine said the practice is “mind-boggling.” “The hospital just isn’t the right environment for a crutch put you at ease,” says Levin. “Of all the places, hospitals should be educating patients about healthy dietary habits.”


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“Mad Men” is on tonight (and make sure to check back tomorrow for analysis from ACG Blog contributors). You are almost certain to see someone have a drink at the office. Probably not a good idea, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan say.

Scott Rick and Maurice Schweitzer conducted six experiments in which observers

  • “judged the intelligence of targets photographed consuming or merely holding an alcoholic beverage, a non-alcoholic beverage, or nothing”
  • “watched a video clip of a speaker making a persuasive argument, while holding and consuming either an alcoholic or a non-alcoholic beverage”
  • “judged the intelligence of a target photographed without a beverage” after being exposed to alcohol-related advertisements
  • were job managers watching dinner job interviews where the only difference was whether the interviewee, the interviewer, both or neither order a drink
  • were “mildly intoxicated MBA students” giving mock interviews to actors who drank either alcohol or a non-alcoholic beverage
  • “viewed a hypothetical job interview that manipulated the boss’s drink choice.  Participants were then asked what they would order if they were in the job candidate’s position.”

They identified an over-generalized link between alcohol and cognitive impairment—one that exists, but which produces a bias in the observers brought on by just seeing someone holding a drink, or the implication that person has had a drink, despite whether the observer herself has had a drink. Rick and Schweitzer call this the imbibing idiot bias.

The researchers found that

Consuming, or merely holding, an alcoholic beverage reduced perceived intelligence, in the absence of any actual reduction in cognitive performance. We observed this bias even when the person consuming alcohol had his beverage selected for him, suggesting that the bias does not reflect a belief that less intelligent people are most likely to choose to consume alcohol, but rather an implicit association between alcohol and cognitive impairment. We even found that implicitly priming the concept of alcohol caused observers to view targets, holding no beverage at all, as less intelligent. These findings are consistent with an implicit association in memory between alcohol and cognitive impairment.

We also found that alcohol selectively reduced perceived intelligence: Targets were consistently rated as less intelligent, but no less likeable, honest, or genuine, when consuming alcohol.

In interview settings, candidates who consumed alcohol were judged to be less intelligent and less hireable. We document the imbibing idiot bias in informal interview settings with both experienced managers and mildly intoxicated MBA students who assumed the role of a boss in a mock interview.

Prospective job candidates largely fail to anticipate the imbibing idiot bias. Candidates in informal interview settings follow the boss’s lead, even when the boss chooses to consume alcohol. Our demonstration of a robust imbibing idiot bias suggests that this form of mimicry is a mistake.

Their conclusion:

Although people often choose whether to consume alcohol based on its anticipated pharmacological effects (e.g., Capell, 2008), we identify a very different factor that decision-makers should consider. Our work reveals that consuming alcohol can diminish perceived intelligence even when it has no influence on actual performance. Unfortunately, people in a position to be judged largely fail to anticipate the bias. Taken together, the results suggest that what we drink may say more about us than we think.

Essentially, seeing someone drink alcohol makes you think less of their intelligence. It’s not something you consciously decide, and it’s not something you apply to yourself, either, as evidenced by bosses drinking at interviews but thinking less of the candidates who drank. The bottom line, apparently, is don’t drink during any sort of job interview or situation where you’re to be judged, even if the interviewer is enjoying a nice chardonnay.

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Va. ACLU asks for review of liquor ad ban [via AP/Washington Post]

A 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision prohibiting the advertisement of alcohol in Virginia college newspapers has been appealed to the Supreme Court. The 2-1 April ruling found the ban to be an effective method to combat underage drinking. The ACLU of Virginia, the group which appealed to the Supreme Court, argues the ban is unconstitutional because there is no proof it lowers underage drinking.

A similar 2004 3rd Circuit case, Pitt News vs. Pappert, ruled in favor of the school newspaper. The opinion, authored by current Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, held that the ban was ineffective and unfairly singled out student media. Conflicting lower courts? This is ripe for Supreme Court review.

Hitler had Jewish and African roots, DNA tests show [via The Daily Telegraph]

In other shocking news, DNA samples from 39 living relatives of former Nazi dictator Adolph Hitler indicates the perpetrator of the Holocaust likely had Jewish and African ancestry. A chromosome called E1b1b1 was discovered in the samples; it is rare among western Europeans but common among those descended from Moroccan, Algerian and Tunisian roots, as well as Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews.

Baltimore Sun reviving Sunday magazine [via Baltimore Brew]

What’s that, you say, a small victory for journalism? It might just be. The Baltimore Sun is reviving its Sunday magazine this September. City Hall reporter Julie Scharper broke the news in a tweet. Noting the Sun wants to reinvest in itself, marketing director Renee Mutchnik said, ““We’re doing a lot of enhancing the paper… We’ve debuted a lot of new sections lately.”

Is that my son wearing a dress? [via Salon]

Teacher and freelance writer Matt Cheplic writes in Salon about his 4-year-old son’s desire to dress as Snow White for Halloween. Cheplic wished to remain supportive, but also sought to prevent bullying at preschool that could alienate his son. “I honestly don’t believe that a 4-year-old’s Halloween costume has the power to cement his sexual identity for life. I was not threatened by fears of a same-sex, vegan wedding ceremony or a rejection of power tools and the Super Bowl. A far more immediate evil loomed in my magic mirror: children who mock other children.”

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