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Just Smelling Coffee Can Affect Productivity

Posted On: 08-10-2018
Just Smelling Coffee Can Affect Productivity
A new study from the Stevens Institute of Technology, Temple University, and Baruch College shows that simply smelling a cup of coffee can boost academic performance. The study was published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology.

For this study, the researchers worked with 100 undergraduate business students. The students took an algebra GMAT (Graduate Management Aptitude Test) that consisted of ten questions. Some of the students took their test in a computer lab that was filled with the scent of coffee, and the other students were in an unscented room. The students in the room that smelled of coffee scored higher on their test.

After the test concluded, researchers talked with 200 more participants to find out what they thought about scent perception, and learned that many believe that just smelling coffee can make individuals feel more energetic and alert. For this reason, the 100 students in the initial study may have performed better on the algebra test due to an extra later of confidence from the coffee scent.

Adriana Madzharov, the study’s co-author and a professor at Stevens School of Business, notes that the coffee scent doesn’t just improve performance on analytical tasks—it allows the participants to set a higher expectation for themselves. She emphasizes that subtle scents can help shape environments in the world of business.

Other recent research has demonstrated that drinking coffee can help to reduce the risk of dementia, cancer, heart disease, and liver failure. This new research shows that there are some benefits of coffee that can be enjoyed without even having to drink it. Madzharov hopes to expand this research into other skillsets, like verbal reasoning.

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