The Psychology of Caffeine


In case you missed it, the cameras were rolling at the APS 23rd Annual Convention in Washington, DC. Watch Elsa Carodenuto from Butler University present her poster session research on the “Effects of Caffeine on Relationships.”

I’m Elsa Carodenuto from Butler University, and I presented my research at the APS 23rd Annual Convention in Washington, DC.

Elsa Carodenuto, along with Michael Leider and APS Charter Member John N. Bohannon III, asked 72 participants to recall memories of failed relationships including first meetings, first kisses, and break ups. Half of the participants received a caffeinated drink beforehand. Results showed that caffeine enhanced memory retrieval without raising general cognition — the autobiographical memories were enhanced by caffeine-induced arousal at encoding or retrieval.

Day-to-day, caffeine impacts our routines, relationships, and health more than we may realize. Scientific American blogger Krystal D’Costa recently examined “The Culture of Coffee Drinkers” and coffee’s effects on alertness. In other research, APS member Simon Crowe of La Trobe University concluded that people who consume five cups of coffee a day risk suffering hallucinations if they are also stressed.

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