Can the smell of coffee improve your performance in an exam?

An interesting proposition!

I was reading an article last week on the findings of a test undertaken in the United States that students who had ‘a whiff of coffee’ before an exam performed better than students who had not smelt the coffee. The article which I read on https://psychcentral.com/news/2018/07/18/can-whiff-of-coffee-boost-test-performance/137089.html referred to findings which were published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology.

The test was not based on the consumption of coffee – just the smell of coffee before the exam.

In the study, 100 students were divided into 2 groups – those in a coffee scented room and those who were not. They undertook a 10-question GMAT algebra test and the findings were that the students who were in the coffee scented room outperformed the students who were not.

The researches undertook a follow up survey of 200 students regarding their belief about perceived effects of scents on exam performance. The findings of that further survey were that students thought that the scent of coffee would improve their performance on an exam because it would make them more alert and energetic.

I would have happily tested this hypothesis if it had come up when I was at university studying! The truth is, I probably drank enough coffee before exams or while I was up late completing essays on the night before they were due! Does this sound familiar?

The study leader Dr. Adriana Madzharov indicated that she would undertake further study to examine whether coffee-like scents could have a similar placebo effect on other types of performance, such as verbal reasoning.

I don’t think that this research means that you should wait for a scent of coffee before an exam to assist you to perform better. For me, it’s an interesting experiment regarding possibilities for managing human behaviour the power of the mind is truly amazing!

I suppose I should now invite you for a cup of coffee at Penny Lane? (No, you don’t have to smell the coffee…you can drink it). There was only one person who took me up on the invite to visit me for a chat in my blog ‘It’s all about the coffee’. The other option if you can’t visit is to just Like us on Facebook if you think that the blog is OK.

Penny Lane Bar & Café, Kensington – https://www.facebook.com/pennylanebarcafeUNSW/

Penny Lane Bar & Café, Ultimo – https://www.facebook.com/pennylanebarcafeuts/