Scientific Results Concerning Happy Hour

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The Effect of Happy Hour Attendance on Cognitive Psychologists

H. Hour
The University of Michigan

	 In this paper, we provide evidence to show that, contrary to
popular belief, Happy Hour attendance is a good activity for an cognitive
psychologist to take part in.  We show conclusively that happy hour
attendance benefits the individual, the community, and science in general. 
We conclude by encouraging those who do not regularly attend Happy Hour to
include it in their weekly regimen.

	For decades, bitter controversy has raged over whether happy hour
attendance is good.  Unfortunately, much of the discussion has been
philosophical, and not based in rigorous empirical work.  We hope to
enlighten this argument with data that conclusively prove that happy hour
attendence has many benefits.  We hypothesize that happy hour attendance
makes one more employable, and better able to use one's brain.
Additionally, we suggest that happy hour attendance builds community,
strengthening the cohesion within the area and encouraging cooperation and

Experiment 1:  Effect of Happy Hour Attendance on CV.

	For this study, we randomly chose 10 regular Happy Hour attendees
from the University of Michigan's Cognitive Psychology area for our
experimental condition.  We calculated the mean number of publications
listed on these participants' Curriculums Vita (Cs V).  Finding an
appropriate control group is, of course, impossible, and so we used a
within-participant design. Cs V were obtained from the Participants (Ps) 
from the time before they began attending Happy Hour, and the mean number
of publications were calculated in the same manner as above.

Mean publications for Ps before attending Happy Hour was 15.3 (sd=10.5). 
Mean publications after attending Happy Hour was 18.5 (sd=9.8).  In fact,
of the ten Ps, only two did not increase.  The CV of one P, (PH)  did
decrease, but only by .5 publications. Using the Non-parametric One-tailed
Chi-squared Test for Paired Comparison, we found this to be significant

Experiment 2:  Coolness


The ten Ps that took part in experiment 1 also took part in this
experiment.  As the nature of the task precluded a within-participant
design, we carefully chose a control group by matching
participants on gender, weight, and hair color.  Control subjects were
drawn from Ann Arbors general population, with the requirement that they
were on South University on a Friday afternoon, and NOT attending a Happy
Hour. Two independent raters were chosen from the University of Michigan's
Cognitive Psychology Research Assistant Corps.  Both of these raters were
blind to the objective of the study, creating a truly double-blind
experiment.  Each of the participants was rated on a Likert-type scale of
Coolness, as shown in figure 1: 

Figure 1:
Likert's Scale of Coolness

    1          2          3          4          5          6          7
   Dork       Geek      Corny        OK        Cool     Way Cool    Elvis

	Five of the Ps in the Experimental condition (STM, DH, SP, WG, and
WS) were deemed to be outliers as they were rated below 1.  The remaining
experimental participants averaged 4.6 (sd=1.2).  The participants in the
control condition averaged 4.3 (sd=1.3).  As these Ps were chosen to
closely match those in the experimental group, a paired comparison's
t-test was performed t(10)=3.5, p=.07.  This marginally significant result
should be interpreted in light of the fact that a large number of members
of the experimental group were outliers; had the degrees of freedom not
been reduced by this loss, this clearly would have been significant. 

Experiment 3: Community Building
	A theory popular in anthropology suggests that societies start to
fall apart when their members stop drinking together.  Evidence for this
has been found in ancient Greece, Northern Ireland, and Utah.  We
investigated this theory by examining a number of other University of
Michigan departments that do not have Happy Hour. These departments
include Classics, Discrete Mathematics, Biochemical Engineering, and
Elementary Education. As collaberation and cooperation are two factors
that we believe affect many other aspects of the the academic reputation
of a department, we examined the US News and World Report Annual Graduate
Programs rating issue (1998).  To our astonishment, of the departments at
the University of Michigan that do not have a regular happy hour, none
were even rated among the top 25 experimental psychology programs. As the
Cognitive psychology area is ranked in the top five, this is certainly
significant p<.001! 

Experiment 4:  Happy Hour Area of the Brain.
	Two of the participants in experiment 2 were selected for study in
an fMRI study; one from the experimental group and one from the control
group.  We attempted to localize the Happy Hour area of the brain.  To do
this, the "Happy Hour" participant was asked to consume three glasses of
Killian's red and two Count Twists dipped in special Twist Sauce prior to
the scanning session. The Control subject consumed three glasses of
non-alcoholic beer and two pieces of Wonder Bread dipped in coffee
grounds.  Ps were viewed in the scanner as they watched Headline News on a
TV that was specially designed so that the upper part of the screen
stretched the image out of shape, making Hugh Downs look like Gumby.
Additionally, Ps were presented with aural stimulation simulating inane
chatter about degrees of freedom and levels of significance, with an
occasional outburst crying "Can we PLEAAAASSSE talk about something
besides Psychology???!!!!"

	These scans produced pictures (data)  which were carefully aligned
with a map of Telluride, Colorado.  Activation from the control
participant was subtracted from that of the experimental participant, and
it was found that the Rodman areas #2, 3, 45, 26, and 37 were
significantly more active in the Happy Hour Participant.  We conclude that
the Happy Hour part of the brain is located in the
Ipsolateral-Pre-Ventral-medio-temporal frontal cortices.  Additionally,
these areas arrange themselves in a "Happy Face", suggesting that Happy
Hour makes for a Happy Brain.

General Discussion
	Happy Hour clearly does not deserve the reputation it has earned
in modern America.  For the last decade, it has fallen into the company of
cigarettes and Zubas (r), as a thing that is enjoyed with gusto by
a few misfits, and totally scorned by the rest of society.  As we have
shown, not only is this image ill-deserved, Happy Hour attendance is
actually good for one's career, one's social life, one's job, and one's
brain.  Although more research must be done, we hope this will convince
many to enjoy their next Happy Hour, or perhaps even start one of their
own. It's Fun! It's Cool! Its Friday and its 4:00!

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