How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
The ChangingMinds Blog!
The power of coffee
Most weekdays I take the 6am commuter train into London to work. I have chummed up with a bunch of other guys who are equally mad to be awake and out at that ridiculous hour. We wake up together on Waterloo station and put the world to rights with a nice fresh cup of coffee from the AMT stand.
Coffee is such a nice way to start the day. And it is a whole lot more too.
It is fairly well known that going for a coffee with somebody can help you persuade them. A key reason why this works is that 'having a coffee' moves the person out of any threatening formal situation and puts them into a relaxed and friendly environment. With their guard down and friendly trust increased, they are more open to suggestion. Sales people know this well and many deals have been closed over coffee, lunch or dinner.
Recent research has extended this wisdom, discovering a narcotic effect of coffee that makes a person more persuadable. To really test the changing of minds, the topics for persuasion were picked as euthanasia and abortion -- two subjects on which most people have really strong views and where powerful persuasion would be normally be needed to change opinions. In the tests, where everything was kept the same other than the coffee, a significant increase in persuasion occurred, with an optimum 'dose' of two cups of coffee.
The basic explanation was that the caffeine increased attention to the message through the central route and hence also increased acceptance, as in the Elaboration Likelihood Model.
The implications are obvious: if you are getting into any negotiation, offer the other side coffee, but drink something else yourself!
As a child, I was diagnosed
with Hyperactivity disorder. Prior to that, it was Called Minimal Brain
Disorder. The prescription was, GASP! a stimulant. This was 35 years ago. My
folks tried it, but being unable to get me to go to bed as it was, decided
against it. The Doctor keenly suggested they serve me coffee instead. Morning
after morning, my mother and I sat at the kitchen table in our robes drinking
Coffee, before I went off to Terrorize My fist Grade Teacher, Mrs. Slike, by not
remaining in my seat. I turned out OK, but I'm not much of a salesman. Juan
Valdez, on the other Hand, Is.
My own personal opinion on
the ADD debate, is this. I think environment plays a major Role, and I think
that Empaths are likely diagnosed with ADD more often than the general public.
When you take in what's happening with everyone in your environment as your own,
all that excess "clutter" has to be released in some way. It isn't necessarily
naughtiness, but I believe, a physical release of sensations you take on from
your environment. I believe that with brain plasticity, we may actually affect
the development or characteristics of our brain by what we have been exposed to
through experience and environment.
hey there...this is my first time...so bear with
And the big