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Psychology in the coffee shop
THIS drug permeates every level of
society. Around the world peopleare gathering mornings, lunchtimes and afternoons for the consumption of thestimulant in brown, socially acceptable, TOM STAFFORD, the winner in the postgraduate
liquid form. People drive, work and playunder the influence. It’s found in factories, category, investigates the coffee break. hospitals and even schools. It’s caffeine, ofcourse. The chances are that you, reading the ritualisation of beverage preparation this, are either about to have a cup of tea or that is found among caffeine users, and is coffee, or have just had a cup. The seeming receptors and hence lessens the action of ubiquity of the drug has not stopped further growth in coffee culture. The coffee shop spontaneous firing, elevating mood, blood injection is done with reverential care, so has enjoyed a recent surge in popularity, pressure, heart rate and gastric activity. The many coffee or tea drinkers insist on their making us all familiar with the difference precision bordering on fanaticism. Sparks increase pain tolerance (Keogh & Gerke, fly if you combine tea, teapot, cup, milk cappuccino and a frappuccino. In the 1990s 2001). This is just one of the many effects and water in the wrong way in the presence global sales of coffee leapt from $30 bn to of caffeine consumption that are relevant to psychiatrists and doctors (Paton & Beer, cognitive effects, but buying and drinking effort spent acquiring a fix, and investment in elaborate paraphernalia. The reinforcing shop culture might have major civic, social effects of caffeine establish the ritual in the and interpersonal consequences far beyond wider context of daily routine, making the just meaning that I can get a nice cup of That feel…
So what is in your cuppa, and how does it work? Tea and coffee both contain caffeine.
By weight tea contains more caffeine, but Our love affair with coffee has implications
when prepared into drink form coffee will for a range of psychologists
positive side-effects (Schuh & Griffiths, 1997). Although caffeine has potential as a drug of abuse, the low cost and widespread dopamine (Garrett & Griffiths, 1997). This puts it in a class with the stimulants whose people can learn to effectively manage their stimulant properties, but is also known to action is based primarily on dopamine (e.g.
balancing the effects of caffeine to dovetail caffeine is comparable to, but less strong and more subtle than, the action of these requirements (Weinberg & Bealer, 2001).
It has no trouble passing the blood–brain Indeed, one review recently declared that barrier. Within an hour of drinking a cup of coffee there is probably caffeine in every Reward, reinforcement and
beneficial, with higher users having better cell of your body, and traces to be found in mental functioning’ (Smith, 2002, p.1243).
subjective feelings of reward and heavily ‘Creative lighter fluid’
reinforcement, via receptors in the nucleus well feted in popular culture that it is not acumbans (Robbins & Everitt, 1996). We necessary to eulogise them here. Suffice to depression, inhibition of gastric secretion, say that the cup of coffee is inextricably coffee will strengthen the behaviours that lowering of neural activity. It is involved Student competition
café-philosopher to the brown-ring stains on essays and air of near panic that settles collective decisions and collective memory on a department if the coffee lounge is shut retrievable (Wegner et al., 1991; Weldon, 2001). As people meet, in pairs or groups, the collective experience of the community coffee ‘creative lighter fluid’, and there’s is retrieved and exchanged. The network of our social links, provide the crucial glue to individuals influence and are influenced.
‘a mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems’. The experimental whole. This is ‘the strength of weak ties’ be adopted – whether over grand political investigation of the cognitive effects of (Granovetter, cited in Gladwell, 2000).
caffeine stretches from Holck (1933), who locally about plans for a new bypass – are found that coffee enhances ability to solve social grooming functions (Dunbar, 1997).
the reflection of this ongoing, interactive, chess problems, to recent investigations of the interaction of caffeine and personality type. Early results (discussed in Weinberg creating a civic space and a commensurate & Bealer, 2001) suggesting that extraverts might receive more cognitive benefit from caffeine than introverts, possibly because creating social networks, and thus in turn been confirmed (Liguori et al., 1999).
in encouraging civic values (Cohen et al., century we might hope that the resurgence Small worlds, social grooming
comparable resurgence of civic values and and distributed cognitions
occurs informally, as an inevitable result relationship with social interaction. Social of society, and, once drunk, every cell of situations are based around and encourage our bodies, so the effects of caffeine are drug use, while drug use seems to enhance found at all the levels of description that advertising everything from evening classes interactions. Caffeine is no exception.
neurophysiological, cognitive, clinical and Coffee provides an excuse for – and a spur to – our need for social interaction.
a social network, which no individual has a complete map of, so coffee shops become ■ Tom Stafford is at the University of part of a system of distributed cognition Sheffield. E-mail: [email protected] opportunity to recognise the small worldnature of society (Milgram, 1967). A ‘smallworld’ is one in which any pair of References
Cohen, M.D., Riolo, R.L. & Axelrod, R.
(Watts & Strogatz, 1998). It is small-world Schuh, K.J. & Griffiths, R.R. (1997).
Dunbar, R. (1997). Gossip, grooming and the evolution of language. London: on the train, or similar. Kleinfeld (2002) Psychopharmacology, 130, 320–326.
Dunwiddie,T.V. & Masino, S.A. (2001).
really do have small-world properties, or whether we have a bias towards seeing the Psychophysiology, 38, 886–895.
world in terms of small worlds, a bias that problem. Society, 39, 61–66.
Watts, D.J. & Strogatz, S.H. (1998).
Garrett, B.E. & Griffiths, R.R. (1997).
Liguori,A., Grass, J.A. & Hughes, J.R.
Regardless of where the truth lies in this matter, Kleinfeld’s paper points to the Wegner, D.M., Erber, R. & Raymond, P.
desire we have to create small worlds. This evening. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 7, 244–249.
helps explain the success of café-chains Gladwell, M. (2000). The tipping point: Personality and Social Psychology, unremarkable multinational that sells itself Weinberg, B. & Bealer, B. (2001). The as offering a ‘third place outside work and Paton, C. & Beer, D. (2001). Caffeine: Habermas, J. (1989). The structural home’. Maybe as social capital declines transformation of the public sphere.
International Journal of Psychiatry in culture of the world’s most popular Clinical Practice, 5, 231–236.
Putnam, R. (2000). Bowling alone:The Journal of Comparative Psychology, a spatial bottleneck in our daily routines, Robbins,T.W. & Everitt, B.J. (1996).
Das „Superbakterium“ NDM–1 ist noch selten. Aber es zeigt: Das Zeitalter der Antibiotika könnte bald vorbei sein Anne Miller war der Anfang einer Ära. Im März 1942 lag sie sterbend in einem Krankenhausbett in den USA. Sie hatte sich mit Streptokokken infiziert und große Mengen der kugelförmigen Keime waren in ihr Blut gelangt. Wenige Monate vorher wäre sie noch sicher gestorben.