Rich and Co.

Coffee in Meetings – For Women:Good, For Men:Not Good

  • For two men collaborating or negotiating under stressful circumstances, caffeine consumption was bad news, undermining their performance and confidence
  • By contrast, for pairs of women, drinking caffeine often had a beneficial effect on these same factors
  • The differential effect of caffeine on men and women may have to do with the fact that women tend to respond to stress in a collaborative, mutually protective style (known as ‘tend and befriend’) whereas men usually exhibit a fight, flee or freeze stress response.

How large were the caffeine effects? 

  • The men’s memory performance under stressful conditions with caffeine was described by the researchers as ‘greatly impaired’ whereas caffeine didn’t affect women in the same situation
  • For the construction puzzles, caffeine under high stress conditions led men to take an average of twenty seconds longer (compared with no caffeine) whereas it led women to solve the puzzles 100 seconds faster. {Wow!  That’s a BIG difference!}

Such work is urgent, the researchers concluded, ‘because many … meetings, including those at which military and other decisions of great import are made, are likely to be male-dominated. Our research suggests that men’s effectiveness is particularly likely to be compromised. Because caffeine is the most widely consumed drug in the world, it follows that the global implications are potentially staggering.”

Link to article


Written by Rich and Co.

February 11, 2011 at 9:11 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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