Caffeine 'increases' compliance

24-08-2006

Drinking caffeinated drinks is more likely to make a person say yes, new research has suggested.

Australian researchers at the University of Queensland found that by consuming caffeine, people are more likely to agree with persuasive arguments.

The study's lead author, Dr Pearl Martin from the school of psychology at the University of Queensland, wrote in the European Journal of Social Psychology of the importance of the research: "Given the numerous situations in which people are exposed to persuasive arguments, these results could have many applied implications."

Caffeine is contained in a variety of everyday drinks, from tea and coffee to carbonated and energy drinks.

Because of its widespread use, Dr Martin highlighted the effects the chemical could have on someone reading a review, in a business meeting or listening to a political speech.

Results were found by comparing the responses of two groups of people to arguments about voluntary euthanasia.

One group had the caffeine equivalent of two cups of coffee in their orange juice, the other had none.

The level of "systematic processing of the message" was found to be increased by caffeine, shown by increased agreement with the arguments, greater message-related thinking and better argument recall, the study suggested.


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