START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

The Coffee-Slacker Connection

The Coffee-Slacker Connection

This is one of the funniest and most interesting scientific studies I’ve read in a long time. Researchers from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, wanted to study the effects of substances like caffeine on rats. Before doing so they arranged a variety of tests to determine the natural motivation levels of the rats. The scientists gave the rats the option between easy and difficult tasks with extra sugar pellets offered upon completion of the difficult tasks to determine whether they would naturally choose the easy route or the more rewarding one.

Just like humans, there was significant variation between the inherent motivational level of rats. Some were natural workers and others were serious slackers. The rats were divided into two groups based on their repeat choices: “Workers” and “Slackers.” Then they tested caffeine ingestion to determine whether there was any effect and whether the effects would be different.

Here’s what they found: “Workers” began to slack off after consuming caffeine. “Slackers” remained slackers regardless of caffeine ingestion. Caffeine could not motivate them. So, while there are some benefits of coffee drinking, motivation does not appear to be one of them. The lesson here:  if you’re trying to encourage someone to “get the job done” don’t buy them a coffee until after the task is completed.

The study is scheduled for publication in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.

5 Alternatives to Coffee
10 Odd Facts About Coffee
27 Household Uses for Coffee

Read more: Addiction, Diet & Nutrition, Drinks, Eating for Health, Food, General Health, Health, Michelle Schoffro Cook, News & Issues, Smart Shopping, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international best-selling and 17-time book author and board-certified doctor of natural medicine, whose works include: 60 Seconds to Slim, Weekend Wonder Detox, Healing Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and her new book The Probiotic Promise. Subscribe to her free e-magazine World's Healthiest News at to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.


+ add your own
1:58PM PDT on Jul 2, 2013

An iced coffee sounds pretty good about now.. regardless if it motivates me or not ; P

12:37AM PDT on May 7, 2013

If they want to study the effect of coffee on something, try a human being. There's no rational, logical reason to try studies on non-humans, as they don't drink the stuff. Nor do non-humans work in the same way as we do...

Stupid science, carried out by stupid people, who think they're a cut above the rest...

10:46PM PDT on Apr 11, 2013

I doubt the accuracy of this article, because they are using rats and not humans for this experiment

3:46PM PST on Dec 26, 2012


3:45PM PST on Dec 26, 2012


10:09AM PDT on Sep 20, 2012

interesting. but those poor rats :/

10:07AM PDT on Sep 20, 2012

interesting. but those poor rats :/

11:00AM PDT on Sep 4, 2012

and the big jump of logic at the end of the article? a rat brain is the same as a human brain.
wonderful. it wouldn't surprise me if that ran in the journal of Neuropsychopharmacology as well.

12:03PM PDT on Aug 12, 2012

I am not a rat.

8:24AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

No one is drawing lines in the dirt, another person commenting earlier simply stated that a comment by another calling Canadians "stupid" for x, y and z was not appreciated. I simply made a comment that in her country, which just happened to be Mexico there are virtually no cruelty laws concerning animals and not to point at everyone else. I never once said that any country is better than another and do not even believe in the concept of a nation being "the best in the world" since all nations have many things within that many are proud of.

As far as humans being arrogant, some are, some are not. There are arrogant and nasty people on the planet, kind and gentle, sociopaths who would leave you high and dry and sometimes dead while others would give almost everything off their back to help others in need.

Some commenters on Care2 also say that humans should be exterminated as they believe the entire human race is a blight on the planet and none should be permitted to live. One even called humans a virus that should be eradicated so that animals would be free to roam without interference. While humans have done a lot of damage we are still part of the world and unless we manage to destroy ourselves then we will still be part of the world.

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

One of my friends dated on line and now she is very happily married for years.

Thanks, I love these suggestions

Bubba is the worst finicky eater. He rarely eats his food when it’s first presented to him. H…

Some good suggestions thanks.

I was on the Dating site hi5, and found my wife over 8000 miles away, there is no way I could have f…


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

site feedback


Problem on this page? Briefly let us know what isn't working for you and we'll try to make it right!