Why Loud Music in Bars Increases Alcohol Consumption

Today’s post title comes from PsyBlog and their article of the same name. More than 12 newspapers around the world also reported.

Nicolas Guéguen and others, in a now-famous study, found that loud music in bars makes people drink more:

Several experimental studies carried out in natural settings have shown that different environmental music and structural components of the music (e.g., sound level, tempo, tonality) affect the consumer’s behavior such as in-store traffic flow (Milliman, 1982), sales volumes (Areni and Kim, 1993), product choices (North et al., 1999) or time elapsed in a commercial area (Milliman, 1986).

I could cite the entire article here because it’s full of amazing facts which are relevant to hypnotists, but importantly, that music DOES affect our behavior, whether that be shopping in a mall or drinking faster at the bar (avg decrease from about 14 to 11 minutes).

They have theorized that being exposed to louder music changes “the clients’ subjective perceptions of time passage.”

Very interesting!

Guéguen also has done recent studies on the effect of whether women wear cosmetics on men’s behavior, on tactile contact and how it affects social interactions, and another study which sought to evaluate the “but you are free to accept or refuse” technique. They can be found on EBSCO.


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