Some of us have been drinking coffee for a long time to the point where it has become part of our daily routine. Whether it’s making your own cup or buying a take-out, it is a necessary step to having a complete morning. We don’t associate coffee with anything other than a cup of concentrated caffeine used to chase away the tiredness and boosting our energy for the rest of the day. But what if I tell you right now that there are some interesting mind-blowing coffee psychology you may not be aware of.
Below are some trivias and interesting facts about psychological phenomena that we have gathered from various sources regarding coffee psychology.
- The Basic Chemistry of Drinking Coffee
- The Pavlov Effect
- The Temperature Of Your Coffee
- Your Personalities Might Affect The Type Of Coffee That You Drink
- Let’s Talk About The Psychology Of Drinking Black Coffee
- Drinking Coffee is Good, But Drinking Up To How Much Is Bad
The Basic Chemistry of Drinking Coffee
As we all know, the main reason why we all love coffee is the caffeine content within. What is caffeine exactly? Caffeine is a type of stimulant that stimulates the central nervous system. So that we can be more alert and ready as well as blinking away the tiredness.
Aside from the obvious effects of coffee due to its nature as a stimulant. Along with other psychological effects that are not directly linked to caffeine.
The Pavlov Effect
If you do not know what the Pavlov effect is a classical conditioning where you start to associate a particular stimulant with a feeling. Pavlov did an experiment with his dogs. He start off by introduce a ticking sound and food will be immediately given after.
After doing this for a couple of times, the dogs started to associate the sound with food. Then the dog start to salivate everytime they heard the sound even if there is no food there.
The reason why this classical conditioning can be associated back to coffee. Because some of us have drink a lot of coffee. Then start to be able to start associating the feeling of not being tired to the smell of the coffee alone.
Some of you might recall being extremely tired and your head is pounding, but as soon as you step into a coffee shop with the smell of coffee permeating in the air, the ache soon goes away even before you could order a coffee.
Aside from the caffeine that stimulates your brain activity. There are also some other interesting psychology relating to the temperature of your coffee and the colour of your coffee mug.
The Temperature Of Your Coffee
According to the researchers at Yale, your brain activity can be affected by the temperature of your drinks. Apparently, you are more prone to be more friendly and open if you are holding a warm or a hot cup of coffee. A mug of hot drinks can encourage pleasant emotions due to the warmth from the cup.
If you are to spend your time with someone who is cold and oftentimes seem uncaring, perhaps go to a coffee shop and order a cup of hot coffee. It will help smooth things over and make the time spent together much more enjoyable.
Holding a cup of iced coffee on the other hand has an opposite effect on how you would act around other people. However, while it doesn’t incite emotional warmth, it helps curb your impulse on making rash decisions. Iced drinks are good for helping you stay grounded so you can take your time in evaluating and analysing situations.
If you are currently trying to decide between options, have a cold coffee in hand to aid in your decision-making process.
The Colour of Your Mug Can Affect How The Coffee Would Taste
Colour plays a huge role in the packaging of products or what companies want you to associate their products with. This fact might be surprising to some if not all. I’m not sure if you noticed but if you think about it, most social media application logos are blue. It means that it is linked with interactions.
If a company wants you to associate them with nature or environment, then 9 out of 10 times that logo will be green.
So it is not surprising to say that the colour of your mug can also affect how you taste your coffee. It is not as much as that the taste is changed but rather the perception of taste depending on the color.
To cite the experiment directly from Psychology Today, the coffee flavor is intense when drinking from the white mug. In contrast from the transparent mug. But for the coffee in white mug is less sweet compared to the coffee in the transparent and blue mug.
By doing the research, they used the same coffee with the same taste. But giving to different people that are do not know or not notice about it. To them, the coffee tastes differently. This is due to the color of the mug.
Your Personalities Might Affect The Type Of Coffee That You Drink
Believe it or not, the kind of coffee that you prefer tells more about you than simply just your taste. From what we have gathered, people that labeled themselves as introverts usually go for black coffee.
The more outgoing you are, you are more likely to add more condiments to your coffee such as sugar or milk. This is backed by the fact that omniverts, or people who are both an extrovert and an introvert, like milk to go with their coffee. While extroverts on the other hand, add both sugar and milk.
We can also get into the specifics as well based on a 2013 study. Where it was determined that people who drink latte are considered as a group that like to seek comfort. You might find that it is a preferred drink of your friends that like to play it safe inside their zone.
For another segment of people that drink decaffeinated coffee. They are labeled as obsessed with control. They may find it hard to function if they are not the one that is currently in control.
If you are a person that enjoys sweet drinks for a frozen cup of frappe, then you are someone who enjoys trends very much. This is prove by coffee addicts on instagram.
You can see that many trendsetters and trend followers tend to post many variations of whipped cream coated coffee or an exotic blend of every caramel and milk in existence.
Let’s Talk About The Psychology Of Drinking Black Coffee
How did we come to the point where we are actively enjoying bitter coffee rather than avoiding it? Humans evolve as a species where we reject anything that is bitter. However, the bitterness of a bitter gourd and the bitterness of coffee are different according to coffee lovers. Did we become accustomed to it or did we become less sensitive to it?
To answer this question, based on a research conducted by Northwestern University. We haven’t become any less sensitive. But rather, we have become even more sensitive to the bitterness of coffee, which is why this has become such an interesting psychological phenomenon. Before coming to this conclusion, researchers have tested out this theory on over 400,000 people. The data have collected then been used to correlate with how much coffee people drink.
Drinking Coffee is Good, But Drinking Up To How Much Is Bad
As much as the psychological facts above seem harmless and fun. There are also some adverse effects of coffee to your psyche if you over consume.
What are the adverse effects on your psyche?
The keyword is overconsume. Because as many studies suggest, drinking coffee is actually good for your health. But you drink by the recommended amount issued by the Food and Drug Administration.
The benefits of drinking coffee
To cite the usual benefits of drinking coffee, It helps you combat drowsiness and gives you that extra energy boost. There are also some added mental health benefits as well where it has been linked to reducing the risk of depression.
This study was done by a team of researchers from Harvard where they have over 25 years of data to back it up. There are also various other benefits that are related to mental and psychological health not limiting to this one instance.
For one, coffee also helps with learning and reducing the risk of cognitive disease. Although there are no clear answers as to how caffeine is directly related to those benefits. The studies are conducted compared based on the samples of the population that drink coffee versus those that don’t drink coffee.
The downside of having too much coffee
Like all things, too much of a good thing has its own set of disadvantages. We once mentioned that coffee is only good if you consume it within the guidelines set by FDA. Which is roughly 400 milligrams of caffeine at most per day.
If you have more than the recommended amount, the typical problems include insomnia and the rapid heartbeats, although most people associated it with caffeine induced anxiety.
The more you drink, the more severe problems are which include headaches, anxiety (more than just rapid heartbeat. This is much more brutal), agitation and rambling speech. If you continue to consume this amount over a period of time, you will build immunity.
However, with immunity comes addiction. If you are addicted to coffee and are unable to have your daily fix. Then those worsening symptoms will come back with vengeance and often worse. Not only that, it also affects you psychologically as well as your mental health over time.
Your Brain On Coffee By AsapSCIENCE
- What your coffee preference may reveal about you | New York Post | Allison Sadlier
- 3 Surprising Things About Coffee | Psychology Today | Vinita Mehta
- 5 Intriguing Studies About the Psychology of Coffee | Thrive Works | Nathan Davidson
- The Funny Psychology of why We Love the Taste of Coffee | Forbes | Alice G. Walton
- Too Much Coffee | American Psychological Association | Stary Lu