Skip to main content

24th February 2014

University spends £20,000 to build a pub

London South Bank University is using the bar as a psychology experiment

London South Bank University has spent £20,000 on installing a pub in a room on campus.

Run by the psychology department, the bar is an experiment to research how and why people drink, and the effects of alcohol on behaviour.

Dr Tony Moss, head of the Psychology Department at South Bank and behind the experiment, said: “What we are trying to do is simulate, with a greater deal of control, the environment in which people find themselves drinking.

“This is somewhere in between being able to do research in the real world bar – where we have very little control over what is going on – and in a lab cubicle, which is nothing like the way people are drinking in the real world”.

Visitors to the pub are served by psychology students, and their behaviour is recorded by hidden cameras and microphones.

Part of the experiment will involve monitoring how much attention customers pay to alcohol awareness posters while they are drinking.

To make participants in the experiments believe they are a real pub, the room has been made as authentic as possible. The lighting and pre-recorded background noise is carefully controlled, and the glasses are even rubbed with ethanol to recreate the right smell.

Unlike a traditional pub, all the drinks are free. However, there is also no guarantee whether a customer will be given a real alcoholic drink or a placebo replacement.

Dr Moss said: “A lot of the work we are doing involves giving people non-alcoholic drinks, but leading them to believe they contain alcohol.

“A lot of the early work we have been doing isn’t so much interested in the effects of alcohol once people are intoxicated but trying to understand factors that motivate people to drink in certain ways”.

More Coverage

Pro-Palestine groups occupy the Roscoe Building

In what is their second occupation of a University building in the last month, Pro-Palestine groups have occupied the Roscoe Building to protest alleged University connections to Israel and its complicity in the conflict in Gaza

Night and Day Cafe’s legal battle comes to an end

The venue can still operate as long as they keep to a reduced noise capacity between 11 pm-3 am during DJ club nights

Nearly half of student gamblers are gambling more than they can afford

The majority of students (60%) had gambled in the past 12 months, although this was a decrease from last year (71%) 

Pro-Palestinian student groups occupy Simon Building in protest against University

Manchester Leftist Action have occupied the Simon Building to protest alleged University connections with Israel, along with students from UoM Rent Strike and Youth Front for Palestine