Another Coffee Post!
I like coffee. And I am not alone. In the United States, more than 400,000,000 cups of Joe are consumed each day.
Coffee has long been regarded as an important elixir. The novelist Balzac once said that “Were it not for coffee one could not write, which is to say one could not live.”
But what if you didn’t have to drink coffee to enjoy some of the benefits of coffee? I’m not talking about some synthetic substance that mimics coffee, or an unusual method of administration like snorting it.
What if you could get the magic of coffee just by…..THINKING ABOUT COFFEE?
That is the question some researchers from Monash University in Australia and The University of Toronto conducted trials to see the effect of cuesabout coffee (like thinking of it) on “mental construal.” Construal is how you process information from stimuli and how quickly and accurately you do it. So these scientists wanted to see if just thinking of coffee makes your brain function better.
One thing they did was to have people list three things they planned to do in the future. Then they had them think of sales slogans for wither a new coffee company or a new tea company.After that, they returned to the list of planned activities and asked participants how soon they planned to do those things. The people who were tasked with thinking of coffee slogans stated a shorter time period to accomplish the tasks. This is called the Temporal Psychological Distance, and thinking of coffee shortened it!
They also did a trial using a heart rate monitoring smartphone app. That trial showed that thinking about coffee actually increased heart rate!
Can thinking about java ever totally replace drinking it? Not if you want the whole experience of taste and aroma. But if you use coffee to perk up your mind, you might be able to just imagine a steaming cuppa instead of actually making one.
The study was published in the Consciousness and Cognition Journal.