Convince Your Picky Partner – Try Coffee

coffeeBaby name negotiations have hit a roadblock. You’re fighting for Frederick, but he’s not budging from Benjamin. What can you do?

Offer him a cup of coffee.

Or, if your partner isn’t into coffee, try a different caffeinated beverage such as tea or soda.

Why? Because caffeine makes us easier to persuade. Caffeine is a stimulant that helps us stay alert. Alertness, in turn, makes us more susceptible to messages of persuasion.

Once he’s taken a few sips, restate your case. You might make him a fan of Frederick yet…

Source: Martin, Pearl Y., et al., “Caffeine, Cognition, and Persuasion: Evidence for Caffeine Increasing the Systematic Processing of Persuasive Messages.” Journal of Applied Social Psychology 35.1 (2005): 160–182. [via PsyBlog]
Photo: Paul J. S.

3 thoughts on “Convince Your Picky Partner – Try Coffee

  1. hahahaaaa! This is so true! I used to think wine was the key to negotiating with my husband, but it’s totally during a Saturday morning drive with his double mocha that I have the most luck. I’d never quite made the connection before, though. I feel so wicked about what I’m going to do with this knowledge.

  2. Another study backs up the caffeine-persuasion link:

    Two experiments are reported that examine the effects of caffeine consumption on attitude change by using different secondary tasks to manipulate message processing. The first experiment employed an orientating task whilst the second experiment employed a distracter task. In both experiments participants consumed an orange-juice drink that either contained caffeine (3.5 mg/kg body weight) or did not contain caffeine (placebo) prior to reading a counter-attitudinal communication. The results across both experiments were similar. When message processing was reduced or under high distraction, there was no attitude change irrespective of caffeine consumption. However, when message processing was enhanced or under low distraction, there was greater attitude change in the caffeine vs. placebo conditions. Furthermore, attitudes formed after caffeine consumption resisted counter-persuasion (Experiment 1) and led to indirect attitude change (Experiment 2). The extent that participants engaged in message-congruent thinking mediated the amount of attitude change. These results provide evidence that moderate amounts of caffeine increase systematic processing of the arguments in the message resulting in greater agreement.

    Found via Can the strategic use of coffee make you more persuasive? @ Barking up the wrong tree.

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