The art of coffee : effects of caffeine, ambient coffee-shop noise, and mood, on creativity

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Blunnie, Ailie
Issue Date
Higher Diploma in Arts in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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That coffeehouses provide a stimulating environment for artistic and intellectual inspiration and debate has long been assumed in popular culture. The current experiment investigated the effects of caffeine, ambient coffee-shop noise and mood on people’s ability to think creatively. A mixed factorial repeated measures design was used to test the creative ability of 36 participants using the Compound Remote Associate test. Participants were assigned to one of three conditions and tested before and after exposure to ambient coffee-shop noise and/or consuming a cup of coffee. Mood state was assessed using the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule. Results showed no meaningful effect of caffeine, noise or mood state on creative ability. These findings suggest that consuming a caffeinated beverage in a coffee-shop environment, while simultaneously undertaking creative work; will not significantly affect the creative process.