Does coffee make you reason smarter? The effect of caffeine on executive functioning and dual-process reasoning

Katrijn PipijnKU Leuven
Stievy VisterinKU Leuven
Leen JanssensKU Leuven
Walter SchaekenKU Leuven

Abstract

In a setup based on the Masicampo and Baumeister (2008) lemonade study, the effects of caffeine on dual-process reasoning were explored. Participants in this double-blind study were divided into a caffeine and a caffeine-free control group. Participants had to solve several classical dual-process paradigms. Participants in the caffeine group were expected to perform better on analytic reasoning trials. In a follow-up experiment participants were also given an unexpected implicit recollection task to see whether caffeine has an affect on conflict monitoring, an executive function underlying dual-process reasoning. Even though the paradigms being used proved to be appropriate for dual-process testing, no effects of caffeine on dual-process reasoning or on conflict monitoring were found.

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