The Washington Post:
When bros share brews, they also start sharing smiles, according to a new study published in Clinical Psychological Science. That could explain why men are much more likely to drink in excess than women are — they just have more fun.
Humans and some other animals experience something called “emotional contagion”. Without realizing it, your emotional state is affected by the facial expressions and cues of the people you interact with. If someone is smiling genuinely, you’re likely to “catch” that smile — especially if they’re a close friend or family member.
People often tout alcohol as a lubricant in social settings. To test this theory, researchers split 720 healthy social drinkers into groups of three — with each one assigned either a vodka cranberry, a non-alcoholic drink, or a placebo drink (alcohol-free, but with vodka smeared inside the glass). The groups were introduced and served the drinks at regular intervals.
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