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Coffee makes you open-minded


Cap'n Refsmmat
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A recent study suggests that caffeine can actually increase your chances of being convinced by an argument, after other studies suggested that it can also improve cognitive performance.

 

The study shows that those who drink a significant amount of caffeine and then read articles opposed to their point of view are more likely to change their opinions than those who had no caffeine. Other factors indicate that it may be due to increased cognitive functions that allow greater analysis of the subject, rather than simply a better mood.

 

http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn9280

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I fail to see the link between agreeing with someone's argument and cognitive function. If the person's argument is wrong then agreeing with it would be a lack of cognitive function surely?

 

Yes, but that means the converse is true, if you are wrong then you are also likely to give in to another persons argument. It probably is more related to tenacity then how much or how hard you think about something. Perhaps caffeine makes you more apatetic.

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I fail to see the link between agreeing with someone's argument and cognitive function. If the person's argument is wrong then agreeing with it would be a lack of cognitive function surely?
Well, yeah, but as usual, things are more complicated than that when it comes to human cognition.

 

For example, as you probably know, people arguing are often arguing the same point, just from different perspectives. The argument exists simply because each wants to be acknowledged as being right. In such cases, it is possible that increased cognition would allow one to see this and to concede the point, realising that the long term gain of being seen as a generous and 'flexible' thinker would outweigh the short term gain of 'proving another wrong'.

 

Another (although related) possibility is simple social politics. Most people function on a 'cost/benefit' scale. By contrast, people involved in arguments tend to get focussed on the cost of losing the argument (reduction in esteem etc.) versus the benefit of winning (increase in esteem at the cost of the opponent).

 

It is possible that increased cognitive function may allow a person to see the bigger picture; what do I really lose by conceding this point (not much, depending on the point), versus what do I really gain by persisting in the argument? (the possibility of hostility, animosity and a social enemy).

 

Generally, people will persist if they see the point as sufficiently important. As you say, if a person's argument is wrong, then it is wrong. However, if the argument is all one can see, then it will be the most important thing. If, though increased cognitive function, one can see beyond the immediate argument to longer term costs/benefits in terms of social politics, or in terms of future debates (e.g. to show now how reasonable one can be in argument, which would strengthen future positions), then the outcome of the immediate argument may become less important.

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Does this mean that when we go out on a date we should be offering our date coffee rather than trying to get them drunk?

 

Are you suggesting a couple of powdered Pro-Plus tablets as a mickey-finn as the Starbucks aphrodesiac?

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Does this mean that when we go out on a date we should be offering our date coffee rather than trying to get them drunk?
It depends. Would it help your case to help them see the longer term cost/benefit balance?

 

That's not the same thing as open-mindedness, though.
No, but if you take open-mindedness to mean the ability to accept alternative opinions or to see alternative arguments, then the ability to see beyond the outcome of the immediate argument must be an element.
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Coffee makes me productive--not open to another's idea; all viewpoints are accepted as valid: that's the philosophical standpoint already overcome.

 

Coffee will increase heart rate; thus, the stimulant drink may be a good dating aphrodisiac.

 

I've been thinking about having a cup for about 20 mins.

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Coffee makes me productive--not open to another's idea; all viewpoints are accepted as valid: that's the philosophical standpoint already overcome.

 

Coffee will increase heart rate; thus' date=' the stimulant drink may be a good dating aphrodisiac.[/quote']Interesting.

 

I've been thinking about having a cup for about 20 mins.
So, that would be foreplay?
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Personally coffee makes me stressed, and less tolerant of other peoples views...I have roughly 3 small cups a day, usually accompanied with a glass of water to dilute the coffee at work.

 

If I have more than this, I usually find myself thinking about how stupid the person a few desks away from me is, and how much rubbish they talk. It does however make me work quicker, and give me more time to post on here ;)

 

Luckily my 'head of dept' is on holiday, so I can post on here with no restraint for a while...tee hee.

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