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Bring Earplugs to Cut Back on Drinking

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Don't be this guy

Headed out to see Lili Hayden tonight? Thinking about checking out the Dresden Dolls on Monday? Well, if you're the lucky designated driver, or if you just want to check your drinking habit a little, bring along some earplugs - researchers in France recently found that loud music in bars or clubs encourages people to drink more.

It appears as though the study only observed men, so the findings might be biased in that direction:

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...the authors observed 40 male patrons between the ages of 18 and 25 while they visited one of two bars located in the western region of France... ...Finding that higher volumes appeared to egg the men on to drink more and faster, the researchers theorized that louder background sound might be stimulating higher arousal levels among the patrons. They also considered the possibility that louder music might simply make verbal communication less viable, leading to more drinking as a result of less opportunity to interact socially... - HealthDay

They also theorized that because these were men in their early twenties, they simply didn't want to be verbally communicative, as they hadn't learned how to from being in long-term relationships yet (just kidding, that was me theorizing, haha).

Anyhoo, other theories included that alcohol reduced the anxiety provoked by loud, disorienting music, and that loud music clouds judgment by "throwing [patrons] off their game," according to Dr. Marc Galanter, director of the division of alcoholism and drug abuse at the Langone Medical Center at New York University.

That's the clinical term, by the way.

Photo by Bistrosavage via Flickr