Missing the Gorillas

Written by Drew on July 31st, 2006

Solomon warned against alcohol abuse, saying “your eyes will see strange things” (Prov. 23:33). We could add that your eyes will not see important things, like a stop sign for example.

In a delicious twist of irony, beer baron Peter Coors was arrested last May for driving under the influence of alcohol. A police officer alleged at his hearing that Coors did not stop at a stop sign and was driving impaired.

Even a small amount of alcohol can impair your visual ability. Consider the results of a new study recently published in the Journal of Applied Cognitive Psychology:

In the study, 46 adults ranging in age from 21 to 35 were brought into a bar-like setting. Half of them were given drinks containing alcohol to bring their blood alcohol level up to 0.04 – half the legal level for being drunk in most states. The other half were given drinks containing no liquor..

After the volunteers had their blood alcohol levels measured by a breath test, they were taken to a computer monitor and asked to watch a 25-second film clip. The clip showed people playing with a ball and the volunteers were told to count the number of times the ball was passed from one person to another. In the middle of the clip a person dressed in a gorilla suit appeared, walked among the players, beat its chest and then walked away.

Afterward, the subjects were asked if they saw the gorilla. Just 18 percent of the drinkers said they noticed the gorilla while 46 percent of the sober subjects indicated they saw the gorilla.

If you miss the proverbial “800-pound gorilla” in the room, what makes you think you can get behind the wheel of a car and drive? Alcohol impairs one’s motor skills, vision, reaction time and ability to think. “Whoever is led astray by it is not wise” (Prov. 20:1).

Thanks, Mom, for the idea.


1 Comments so far ↓

  1. fitzage says:

    54% of the non-drinkers were just as unable to see the gorilla as the drinkers. So those 54% of people shouldn’t drive either, according to your theory.

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