Scientists have finally put a number on just how much better drinking can make a given situation — and it looks like people are right when they say you don't need alcohol to have a good time.
People were asked to rate their happiness on a scale of one to 100 at various points throughout the day for a study carried out by app Mappiness. It included roughly two million responses from about 31,000 people between 2010 and 2013.
The average person drinking alcohol rated their happiness 10.8 points higher on the 1-100 scale than someone who wasn't, according to the study by academics at the London School of Economics.
But because most people were drinking in fun situations – watching sports or attending a party – there was a socialising factor that knocked the overall fun score down.
When controlled for this, boozing added just 3.88 points to the 1-100 happiness scale.
This suggests booze has only a marginal effect on happiness if people are already doing something fun. But if you are doing an unpleasant activity — such as commuting or waiting — alcohol will may it significantly more enjoyable.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, the study also found that drinking doesn't lead to a long-term increase in overall happiness or life satisfaction.