The "Global Implications" of Coffee in Meetings

In stressful meetings, does coffee help or harm the situation? Lindsay St. Claire, Robert C. Hayward and Peter J. Rogers attempted to answer that question in a new study, which is summarized here by the BPS Research Digest: “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 researchers can’t be sure, but they think 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 or flight response.” The sample size is small, and the researchers highlight other problems, but they also point out that “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.” [%comments]

The choice of QBs and receivers.

A double-blind study is required with caff, decaff, and Tom Brady's amyl nitrate blend.

Eric M. Jones

10:30 am: Introductions;
11:15 am: Bonding stories and pleasant chatter;
11:45 am: Break for long lunch.
2:15 pm: Re-Introductions;
2:45 pm: Coffee break.
3:15 pm: Several people leave early to catch a plane; two more people make long cellphone calls.
4:00 pm: Meeting adjourned.

So where's there time to drink wine? We got a business to run here.


We really need to cut off funding of coffee research. We've wasted billions of dollars and decades of research from our brightest medical minds to come up with useless trivia like this.

Brian S

Kudos to anyone that can remain collaborative and understanding in the abyss of productivity-consumption that is most meetings.

David L

I'm interested to meet these alleged women who respond to stress with a "tend and befriend" approach.


Any research into whether decisions are reached sooner because everyone has to go to the restroom?

Chris McCracken

Who says "Tend and Befriend" is better than "fight or Flight".


What about a meeting mixed between genders, or with more than 2 players, as is common?

Supermarket buyers

Nice post.

Jeffrey Gross

"The fact [sic] that women tend to respond to stress in a collaborative, mutually protective style (known as 'tend and befriend') whereas men usually exhibit a fight or flight response." Oh, really? Well, I say most generalizations are stupid (not this one, however). As for implications being "staggering," I'd say without coffee, even more staggering goes on.