The next time I want to convince a friend that vanilla cake is actually far superior to chocolate cake, I'm going to give them a cup of coffee first. New studies done by Australian researchers show that having a cup of coffee before hearing an argument makes you more likely to agree with it, provided that the argument is convincing.
Caffeine, for a brief time, will increase your ability to concentrate and take in new information. When voluntary subjects were given a persuasive argument on a controversial topic after having coffee, they were more likely to agree with it than they were before they had the drink. They were also far more likely to be persuaded than the non-caffeinated control group. The subjects who had the caffeine processed all the information that was given to them in the argument, instead of relying on their preconceptions and simply ignoring the bits that they did not want to hear.
The researchers said that this information could be of great use to advertisers, who should attempt to get their ads seen in the mornings, when people are likely to be drinking coffee. It also means that if you want to convince someone that you're right about vanilla cake versus chocolate cake, or any subject, you should probably invite them out to breakfast.
[Photo by Nicole Weston]