The participants were unaware of whether they were drinking beer with alcohol or nonalcoholic beer, according to the researchers. About 30 minutes after the people drank the beer and began experiencing its effects, the researchers started their experiments. In one of them, the researchers showed the participants pictures of faces representing the six basic emotions — fear, sadness, disgust, happiness, anger and surprise — and asked them to identify which emotion each face represented. [Raise Your Glass: 10 Intoxicating Beer Facts]
It turned out that the people who were given regular beer were better at recognizing the faces that expressed happiness, compared with those who drank nonalcoholic beer, according to the findings, presented Sept. 19 at the annual meeting of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) in Vienna and published in the journal Psychopharmacology.
“We found that drinking a glass of beer helps people see happy faces faster and enhances concern for positive emotional situations,” Liechti said.