Friday April 26, 2019

Smelling Coffee May Boost Your Analytical Skills

It's not just that the coffee-like scent helped people perform better on analytical tasks, which was already interesting

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Costa coffee
The study explored that hot coffee has some measurable health benefits, including lower risk of some cancers, diabetes and depression. (IANS)

If you love the fragrance of coffee, there are high chances of better performance in analytical tasks, a new study has found.

According to the researchers, smelling a coffee-like scent — which has no caffeine in it — has an effect similar to that of drinking coffee, suggesting a placebo effect of coffee scent.

The findings also suggested that the scent of coffee alone may help people perform better on the analytical portion of the Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT) — a computer adaptive test required by many business schools.

“It’s not just that the coffee-like scent helped people perform better on analytical tasks, which was already interesting,” said co-author Adriana Madzharov from the Stevens Institute of Technology in the US.

“But they also thought they would do better, and we demonstrated that this expectation was at least partly responsible for their improved performance,” Madzharov added.

For the study, published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, the research team administered a 10-question GMAT algebra test in a computer lab to about 100 undergraduate business students.

coffee
Consuming 4 Cups of Coffee Daily May Help Boost Heart Functions in Elderly as well. Pixabay

The participants were divided into two groups. One group took the test in the presence of an ambient coffee-like scent, while a control group took the same test — but in an unscented room.

The researchers found that the group in the coffee-smelling room scored significantly higher on the test.

The team also designed a follow-up survey — conducted among more than 200 new participants — quizzing them on beliefs about various scents and their perceived effects on human performance.

Also Read: Fresh Grounds for Coffee: Study Shows It May Boost Longevity

The participants believed they would feel more alert and energetic in the presence of a coffee scent, versus a flower scent or no scent; and that exposure to coffee scent would increase their performance on mental tasks.

The results suggest that expectations about performance can be explained by beliefs that coffee scent alone makes people more alert and energetic.

Previous studies have also suggested that coffee may lessen the risk of heart disease, diabetes and dementia. (IANS)

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Interesting Study! Something That Reminds Us Of Coffee Can Alert Our Minds

However, the study noted that the association between coffee and arousal is not as strong in less coffee-dominated cultures.

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coffee
"People often encounter coffee-related cues, or think about coffee without actually ingesting it," Maglio said. Pixabay

Finding it hard to concentrate? Just looking at something that reminds us of coffee can cause our minds to become more alert and attentive, according to a new study.

“Coffee is one of the most popular beverages and a lot is known about its physical effects,” said Sam Maglio, Associate Professor at the University of Toronto in Canada.

However, much less is known about its psychological meaning — in other words, how even seeing reminders of it can influence how we think, Maglio added.

coffee
“Coffee is one of the most popular beverages and a lot is known about its physical effects,” said Sam Maglio, Associate Professor at the University of Toronto in Canada. Pixabay

The study, published in the journal Consciousness and Cognition, looks at an effect called priming, through which exposure to even subtle cues can influence our thoughts and behaviour.

“People often encounter coffee-related cues, or think about coffee without actually ingesting it,” Maglio said.

The team used a mix of participants from Western and Eastern cultures “to see if there was an association between coffee and arousal such that if we simply exposed people to coffee-related cues, their physiological arousal would increase, as it would if they had actually drank coffee,” he noted.

coffee
The study, published in the journal Consciousness and Cognition, looks at an effect called priming, through which exposure to even subtle cues can influence our thoughts and behaviour. Pixabay

They found that participants exposed to coffee-related cues perceived time as shorter and thought in more concrete, precise terms.

“People who experience physiological arousal — again, in this case as the result of priming and not drinking coffee itself — see the world in more specific, detailed terms,” Maglio said. “This has a number of implications for how people process information and make judgements and decisions.”

Also Read: In Effort To Reduce Unplanned Pregnancies And Abortions, Some Conservative States Easing Access to Birth Control

However, the study noted that the association between coffee and arousal is not as strong in less coffee-dominated cultures.

Maglio said the research may be of interest in better understanding a range of consumer-related behaviours and for marketers in considering retail store locations. (IANS)