Coffee Good for Working Women, Bad for Working Men

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Are you one of those people (like me) who swear coffee makes you more productive? If you're a woman, you may be right.

According to a new study, coffee helps women perform better in stressful work situations, while male coffee drinkers actually perform worse. Lindsay St. Claire and Peter J. Rogers, psychologists at the University of Bristol in England, arrived at this conclusion while testing the affects of coffee in the workplace.

In the study, published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, researchers arranged 64 men and women in same-sex pairs and assigned them a series of challenging, business-related tasks like completing puzzles, performing memory tasks, conducting negotiations, and delivering a public presentation. Half of the pairs received decaffeinated coffee, while the other half received coffee with caffeine. The results?

The caffeinated women performed faster and better under stress, while the caffeinated men performed significantly worse. In the case of the puzzles, the pairs of women who consumed caffeine completed the puzzles 100 seconds faster than the pairs of women without caffeine. The pairs of men who consumed caffeine, however, completed the puzzles 20 seconds slower than the men with decaffeinated coffee.

No word on why men perform worse, but similar studies conducted by St. Claire and Rogers suggest that caffeinated men perform better alone than in teams.

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