Landlords should play loud music if they want punters to drink more, say French researchers at a top university.
In a study of 40 male beer drinkers aged between 18 and 25, the University of Southern Brittany found that drinkers will down their drinks three times more quickly when music is played loudly, than if it is quiet.
"We have shown that environmental music played in a bar is associated with an increase in drinking," said Nicolas Gueguen, a behavioural sciences researcher at the University of Southern Brittany.
The researchers, with the help of the bar team, turned the music up and down and recorded the effect it had on drinkers. Astonishingly, patrons drank three minutes faster when loud music was played, enabling them to fit in on average one extra drink.
The study suggests the loud music increases alcohol consumption simply because punters cannot hear each other to talk, forcing them to substitute conversation with drinking, although there is no clear explanation for the effect. Researchers admit the study was rather limited in its scale, and could not be applied to every bar.