Published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, a French study has found that loud music in a bar setting leads to more drinking in less time.
“Previous research had shown that fast music can cause fast drinking, and that music versus no music can cause a person to spend more time in a bar,” said Nicolas Guéguen, a professor of behavioral sciences at the Université de Bretagne-Sud. “This is the first time that an experimental approach in a real context found the effects of loud music on alcohol consumption.”
Guéguen and his colleagues offer two hypotheses for why this increased consumption occurred. “One, in agreement with previous research on music, food and drink, high sound levels may have caused higher arousal, which led the subjects to drink faster and to order more drinks,” said Guéguen. “Two, loud music may have had a negative effect on social interaction in the bar, so that patrons drank more because they talked less.”