We all know that caffeine has the power to perk us up when we’re feeling sluggish, but according to a new study appearing in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, caffeine can actually alter the way you view the people around you! The study was prompted by an observation that coffee is present in many meetings, but there was little scholarship on the way coffee impacts group dynamics with most studies on coffee and caffeine focused on the effects on the individual.
Two studies were conducted between a total of 134 college students who were grouped into teams and were prompted to discuss the “Occupy Wall Street” movement. The results of the study showed a clear pretty correlation between caffeine and participation in the discussion, with the students who drank a cup of coffee engaging in the conversation more, and appearing to be more focused that those who had not had any coffee. Each of the students, in both the experiment and control groups consumed coffee regularly.
The results of this study seem to suggest that in addition to making you feel more alert, energized and focused, coffee may also make you more inclined to participate in group activities, such as meetings or discussions at work! This increased focus and energy helped to make people more personable and more likely to engage in interpersonal conversations, which is very important in a working environment!
There are still a few areas that the study has left unclear, and there were a few holes in the study which would likely have to be revised in future. The biggest asterisk on this study is the fact that it appeared most of the participants had a similar point of view on the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, which could skew the results as people are more likely to participate in conversations where they feel they have a similar opinion, or where they feel their opinion would be validated.
Whether caffeine makes you more sociable or not is still be up for some scientific discussion, but we know from our own experience that it definitely helps keep you awake and alert throughout the day! Try it for yourself and see if you become more sociable after a few cups of coffee!
- Unnava, Vasu, et al. “Coffee with Co-Workers: Role of Caffeine on Evaluations of the Self and Others in Group Settings.” Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 5 Apr. 2018.