Although this is something that beer drinkers may already confirm, the researchers say that there has been very little previous scientific research into the area.
The study took 60 healthy people, and investigated the effects of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beer on aspects such as emotion recognition and empathy. Drinkers were both men and women, aged between 18 and 50 years old, and did not know if they were drinking an alcoholic or non-alcoholic beer.
Drinkers consumed 0.5L of beer, which is around the size of a pint.
Tests included detection of facial expressions as well as empathy.
“Alcohol increased VAS [visual analog scales] ratings of stimulated, happy, talkative, open, and ‘want to be with others',” said the researchers.
The subjective effects of alcohol were greater in participants who were usually more inhibited.
“Alcohol facilitated the recognition of happy faces on the FERT [face emotion recognition] and enhanced emotional empathy for positive stimuli on the MET [multifaceted empathy test].”
The study is published in the journal Psychopharmacology.