Introverts, Avoid Coffee Before Big Meetings

It might do way more harm than good, says author
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 21, 2014 6:17 PM CDT
Introverts, Avoid Coffee Before Big Meetings
If you're an introvert, here's what may happen if you drink this.   (AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong)

Introverts preparing for a big meeting might think that coffee beforehand will give them a needed jolt in performance. In fact, the opposite may be true, reports New York mag. The insight comes from a newly released book by psychologist Brian Little, who writes in Me, Myself, and Us that extroverts may indeed benefit from a cup or two of joe ahead of the meeting, "whereas introverts perform less well." This is particularly true if the meeting is about "quantitative" matters, say budget projections or data analysis.

So what gives? In an interview with New York, Little explains that researchers have shown that the brains of extroverts and introverts respond differently to their environments. Extroverts are typically "under the optimal level" of alertness in regard to their surroundings, and the caffeine nudges them up to the perfect level. Introverts, however, start out above the optimal level, and the caffeine sends them even further away from it. Hold the coffee for later in the day, Little advises. Or if you must fill the mug, "maybe stick with a nice cup of non-caffeinated tea instead," suggests (You can blame your coffee craving on eight specific genes.)

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