June 4, 2006

Coffee Makes Us Say Yes?

Does Coffee Make Us Say Yes?
Coffeeheads Beware!

Look out coffeeheads (myself included), for you may be under a spell. Yes, a powerful and persuasive spell from your dark master, the coffee bean.

Say what???

OK, here's what I'm talking about...

If you want to bring people around to your way of thinking, then you might just want to make sure that they've got a cup of coffee in their hands!

According to new research, caffeine makes us more open to persuasion...

Australian researchers now say that a caffeine hit enhances our ability to process information and increases the extent to which we listen to and internalize a persuasive message.

Advertising and Caffeine

Co-author Dr. Blake McKimmie says the research suggests that caffeine increases our ability to scrutinize the content of a message.

Because of this, the study has implications for advertisers because it suggests that they may benefit from scheduling ads for times when people are likely to be consuming caffeine, such as in the morning.

But to note... too much caffeine makes us more likely to be distracted by peripheral factors, rather than the strength of the actual message.

"So if you're looking at an advertisement, you may be more distracted by the attractiveness of the person selling it than the actual product," he said.


"Caffeine, for a brief time, will increase your ability to concentrate and take in new information. When voluntary subjects were given a persuasive argument on a controversial topic after having coffee, they were more likely to agree with it than they were before they had the drink.

They were also far more likely to be persuaded than the non-caffeinated control group. The subjects who had the caffeine processed all the information that was given to them in the argument, instead of relying on their preconceptions and simply ignoring the bits that they did not want to hear.

The researchers said that this information could be of great use to advertisers, who should attempt to get their ads seen in the mornings, when people are likely to be drinking coffee..."

News in Science:

"The experiments showed that 'caffeine increases persuasion through instigating systematic processing of the message.'

But caffeine also puts people in a better mood, which makes them more likely to agree with a message, the researchers say..."

Photo by Nicole Weston

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