There have been many interesting scientific experiments regarding alcohol in the past, but the South Bank University in London is taking it to a whole new level. Researchers in the English capital want to discover why people get drunk. For this purpose they spent 20.000 Pounds (about 24.400 Euro’s) on a pub full of hidden microphones and camera’s. Volunteers will be given free booze, as well as alcohol-free drinks with an ethanol smell. Attention will be paid to how much people choose to drink and how much risk they are willing to take to satisfy their craving for alcohol.
The psychology department of the South Bank University tries to “plug the gap” between a laboratory and real life by creating this pub. By creating a real drinking environment they claim it’s easier to investigate the factors that motivate people to drink. Head of Psychology Dr Tony Moss says: “What we are trying to do is simulate, with a greater deal of control, the environment in which people find themselves drinking. This is somewhere in between being able to do research in the real world in a bar – where we have very little control over what is going on – and in a lab cubicle, which is nothing like the way people are drinking in the real world.”
“A lot of the early work we have been doing isn’t so much interested in the effects of alcohol once people are intoxicated but trying to understand factors that motivate people to drink in certain ways, particularly how they initiate a night out when they’re drinking”, Moss continues. “Of course, there are studies we do which involve administering alcohol to people, so that we can see what happens later on.”
The ‘Big Brother Pub’ of the university serves various drinks. Besides that the bar has all kinds of other typical items like bar stools and a fruit machine. In every way it feels like a real pub. Too bad none of the Lords of the Drinks are living in London, because we would love to play our part in the experiments.