Even a sniff of alcohol can make it harder for people to control their behavior.
A study where half the participants wore a face-mask laced with alcohol and the other half wore one with a non-alcoholic citrus solution showed that the alcohol mask group were more prone to mistakes.
Those taking part were instructed to press a button when either the letter K or a picture of a beer bottle appeared on a screen.
The “false alarms” or incorrect answers were higher among the group wearing the alcohol masks.
“During the experiment it seemed that just the smell of alcohol was making it harder for participants to control their behaviour to stop pressing a button” said Dr Rebecca Monk, senior lecturer in Psychology at Edge Hill University.
Fellow researcher and Edge Hill Professor, Derek Heim elaborated, saying that studies of this nature could further our understanding of addiction and substance abuse.
“Our hope is that by increasing our understanding of how context shapes substance-use behaviours, we will be able to make interventions more sensitive to the different situations in which people consume substances,” he added.