Comparative Analysis on the Articles About the Effects of Alcohol Intoxication on People with Creativity Tasks

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The articles described two studies which tested whether alcohol intoxication could help people with creativity tasks. In the study RAT, Remote Associates Test, participants were shown to three words for a short time and then were asked to use the fourth word to create a two-word phrase with the previous words. The result was that intoxicated participants get more correct answers than the sober ones. Another study is called WMC, Working Memory Capacity, which participants were asked to verify mathematic equations and memorizing appeared words at the same time. The result showed that sober participants got higher scores on WMC than the intoxicated participants. In the media article, it only provided a brief summary of RAT result, but did not mention WMC study, which also associates with the topic.

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I think there is a big difference between the way media article and journal report things is that media article tend to focus on what can prove its title. For example, media article only showed the result of RAT study, but didn’t talk about these participants solve problem in a more intuitive way. However, the journal article is more objective, which included experiments to explain and show why and how intoxicated participants perform certain task better. The difference between media article and journal makes media report misleading. In media report, they focused on showing mildly drinking can help people think more strategically, but they did not mentioned what other abilities, like analytic skills, might be influenced by intoxication. When people read the article, they might only see the bright side of intoxication without considering which skills are more important for their work. However, if people read the journal article, they will be able to have a better understanding of not only the advantage, but also the disadvantage of intoxication.

I don’t think the headline of the media article is a good representation of the journal. “Productivity” is a broad word. It simply means increasing quality or effectiveness of producing something, but it doesn’t define the kind of things that we need to produce. For example, we might have a job that requires high analytical skills instead of being creative. In this case, as show in the journal article, intoxication won’t really help people be more analytical. Therefore, the media article “Having a drink or two can boost your productivity” won’t make sense. When I first read the article, I thought it would be good for people to have a drink during work, since it helps them with problem solving, so they can perform better at their work. However, I changed my mind after reading the journal. According to the journal, intoxicated participants tended to be more intuitive rather than analytical, and got lower score on WMC, which makes me wonder whether they will be as logical as sober participants in terms of working, so it’s not all good for people to have a drink during work.

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