Coffee lovers, this one's for you. If you often happen to zone out while doing regular day-to-day tasks and find it difficult to concentrate, then you can bring coffee reminders to your rescue. According to a recent study published in the journal Consciousness and Cognition, just gazing at something that reminds you of coffee could cause your mind to become more attentive and alert.
"Coffee is one of the most popular beverages and a lot is known about its physical effects," said Sam Maglio, Associate Professor at the University of Toronto in Canada.
However, much less is known about its psychological meaning -- in other words, how even seeing reminders of it can influence how we think, Maglio added.
The study looked at an effect called priming, through which exposure to even subtle cues can influence our thoughts and behaviour.
"People often encounter coffee-related cues, or think about coffee without actually ingesting it," Maglio said.
The team used a mix of participants from Western and Eastern cultures "to see if there was an association between coffee and arousal such that if we simply exposed people to coffee-related cues, their physiological arousal would increase, as it would if they had actually drank coffee," he noted.
As per the findings of the study, the participants who were exposed to coffee-related cues perceived time as shorter and thought in more precise and concrete terms.
"People who experience physiological arousal -- again, in this case as the result of priming and not drinking coffee itself -- see the world in more specific, detailed terms," Maglio said. "This has a number of implications for how people process information and make judgements and decisions."
Though, there remain a few limitations to the study as it notes that the association between coffee and arousal is not as strong in less coffee-dominated cultures.
Maglio said the research may be of interest in better understanding a range of consumer-related behaviours and for marketers in considering retail store locations.
With Inputs From IANS