Glass Shape Affects Drinking Behavior
A unique study recently published in the United Kingdom suggests that glass shape affects drinking behavior. The study was conducted by specialists at the University of Bristolâ€™s Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group. This intriguing social study indicates that adults who are drinking their favorite adult beverage tend to pace themselves more when they are drinking from a glass with straight sides.
Researchers suggest that people sip their beer faster when drinking out of curved cups or glasses. The study, which was funded by Alcohol Research United Kingdom, also suggests people drink alcohol more slowly when their glass has volume markings on it.
The Relationship between Drinking Speed and Glass Shape
Dr. Angela Atwood, a researcher at the University of Bristol, argues that her teamâ€™s findings suggest that glass shape affects drinking behavior. This is because certain glass shapes force drinkers to consume alcohol in a more conscientious manner. Atwood also claims that volume markers provide more information to drinkers about how much alcohol they are drinking.
For this study on how glass shape affects drinking behavior, Atwood and her team at the Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group asked 80 women and 80 men to participate. None of the 160 participants suffered from alcohol addiction. These men and women were split into two groups by the researchers.
Members in one of the groups were given curved beer glasses with marks indicating 25%, 50%, and 75% of the glass. The other group was asked to drink beer from curved glasses that did not have any volume markings.
Results of the Glass Shape Study
The team at the University of Bristol found several interesting results from their research about how glass shape affects drinking behavior. They found that people who were in the group with volume markings drank their beer slower than the other group. More specifically, the group with marked glasses finished their beers in 10.3 minutes on average, while the group sipping from unmarked glasses finished their beers in approximately 9.1 minutes.
Interested in looking at how glass shape affected behavior in other drinking contexts, Atwood and her team asked three local watering holes to participate in their study. The pub owners who participated in the study said that their establishments had lower sales when they served beer in straight glasses as opposed to curved glasses. The researchers extrapolated these results to show that straight sided glasses were correlated with lower alcohol consumption. The three bars participated in the study on four separate weekends.
The university researchers realize that their real world results have limitations, primarily because only three pubs were consulted during the course of the study. However, researchers still believe that the findings are valuable and show how glass shape affects drinking behavior.
Other Researchers Disagree
Other addiction researchers believe that the University of Bristolâ€™s study does not provide meaningful evidence that glass shape affects drinking behavior. Dr. Anna Lembke, a director at Stanfordâ€™s Addiction Medicine Program, says that evidence showing that people consume alcohol 1.2 minutes slower in different shaped glasses does not point to anything about drinking behavior. What do you think?