Coffee Makes You Better in Groups

There have been a lot of scientific and pseudo-scientific articles in the last ten years about the effect of coffee on our bodies. If you believe all of the articles coffee is only next to the fountain of youth in health benefits. Like any other miracle potion many of those claims should be viewed with suspicion. However, there are well researched studies which are valid and do indicate that moderate coffee drinking has a positive effect on our bodies.
Now articles are being written about how coffee effects your mind. (Anyone who doubts that coffee effects your mind should check in with me before and after my first cup of coffee.)
Some of the published research claims that may or may not be true are:
  • It make you focus on the positive
  • It makes you more caring about other people
  • Coffee improves memory
  • Black coffee drinkers are more likely to be psychopaths
  • Decaf coffee drinkers are obsessive and controlling
  • Latte drinkers are more likely to seek comfort
  • Coffee does not improve your ability to play minesweeper
  • Coffee tastes differently depending on the color of the cup
One recent study which is credible involved 72 undergraduate University of California Davis students who said they were coffee drinkers. They were instructed not to drink coffee before the experiment. Half of them first participated in what they were told was a coffee-tasting task. They were split into groups of five. After drinking a cup of coffee and rating its flavor, they were given 30 minutes of filler tasks to give the caffeine a chance to kick in. The other half of the participants did the coffee tasting at the end of the experiment.
Each group then read about and were asked to discuss a controversial topic – the Occupy movement, a liberal movement that highlighted social and economic inequality. After a 15-minute discussion, group members evaluated themselves and the other group members.
Results showed that those who drank the coffee before the discussion rated themselves and their fellow team members more positively than did those who drank coffee after the discussion. The researchers concluded that:
“… consuming a moderate amount of caffeinated coffee prior to indulging in a group activity enhances an individual’s task-relevant participation in the group activity. In addition, subjective evaluations of the participation of other group members and oneself are also positively influenced. Finally, the positive impact of consuming a moderate amount of caffeinated coffee on the evaluation of participation of other group members and oneself is moderated by a sense of an increased level of alertness”. “Coffee with Co-workers: Role of Caffeine on Evaluations of the Self and Others in Group Settings “Journal of Psychopharmacology April 5, 2018 https://doi.org/10.1177/0269881118760665
So there you have it. Coffee effects us mind and body. So have another cup, live long and be happy.

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