No Coffee for Me

Bad news, fellow Introverts.  Horrible, life altering news:  Coffee is bad for us.coffee-heart

According to a new book by psychologist Brian R. Little, entitled ME, MYSELF, AND US:  The Science of Personality and the Art of Well-Being, introverts, like yours truly, are negatively impacted by the effects of caffeine:

After ingesting about two cups of coffee, extroverts carry out tasks more efficiently, whereas introverts perform less well. This deficit is magnified if the task they are engaging in is quantitative and if it is done under time pressure.

For an introvert, an innocent couple cups of coffee before a meeting may prove challenging, particularly if the purpose of the meeting is a rapid-fire discussion of budget projections, data analysis, or similar quantitative concerns. In the same meeting, an extroverted colleague is likely to benefit from a caffeine kick.

It’s bad enough that society and work favors Extroverts as do schools.  Now my coffee addiction is bad for me?  Say it ain’t so!

dataPersonally, I do my best thinking work in the morning.  I’m the type of person that needs lots and lots of data before making a decision.  If I don’t have enough information to build connections that make sense to me, I’m most likely going to keep thinking and not answer.  I gather lots of data and then the answer sort of magically appears.  Coffee is part of my mornings.  Coffee is part of my process.  I need coffee to get to the answers, people!

I have to now think about if my brain is different than those in the study or if I could do a better job without coffee.  And how much causation and correlation I want to apply.

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3 thoughts on “No Coffee for Me

  1. Bethany K. Warner says:

    Say it ain’t so! I think individual physiology has to enter into this. I have a dear friend who is an extrovert and one cup of coffee produces the jittery, overly-talktative reaction in her that it takes me 4+ cups to reach. Some of it is tolerance, sure, but I think this is more about knowing yourself enough to know when to walk away from the pot to make sure you are working at your best level.

  2. I’m going with the study that showed drinking coffee holds off Alzheimer’s. That seems like a good reason to do what I’m going to do no matter what anyway–drink coffee!

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