These days, people down cups of coffee throughout the day just to get through meetings, school, etc., but it turns out half of us shouldn’t even be touching the stuff. In his new book, Me, Myself, and Us: The Science of Personality and the Art of Well-Being, psychologist Brian Little explains how introverts are actually over stimulated after drinking coffee, whereas extroverts benefit from the caffeine boost. He says:
“After ingesting about two cups of coffee, extroverts carry out tasks more efficiently, whereas introverts perform less well. This deficit is magnified if the task they are engaging in is quantitative and if it is done under time pressure.
For an introvert, an innocent couple cups of coffee before a meeting may prove challenging, particularly if the purpose of the meeting is a rapid-fire discussion of budget projections, data analysis, or similar quantitative concerns. In the same meeting, an extraverted colleague is likely to benefit from a caffeine kick.”
With this in mind, it’s safe to say that introverts should stick to decaf coffee, tea or water before a task that can be timed and cause pressure. Little, who is a lecturer at Cambridge University, was questioned by NYMag’s Science of US regarding why this effects introverts. He says, “It’s the idea that introverts and extraverts differ in the level of neocortical arousal in the brain — in other words, how alert or responsive you are to your environment. According to this theory, introverts are over the optimal level — that is, more easily stimulated — and extraverts under the optimal level.”
Good thing I don’t drink coffee.
Are you an introvert who loves coffee? Tell us what you think of this theory below!