Can Caffeine Make You Slack Off?

Apr 10 2012 @ 8:24am

by Zoë Pollock

A new study tested the effect of caffeine and amphetamines on hard-working rats and slacker rats:

The researchers report that when presented with stimulants, the "slacker" rats that usually avoided challenges worked significantly harder when given caffeine and amphetamines. However, the "worker" rats that typically embraced challenges became less motivated when given caffeine or amphetamine. 

Scicurious sprinkles a large grain of salt:

[T]he tasks that you are going to have to do in a day are a lot more varied than those given the rats, and you will have varying motivations for them. Not only that, the types of tasks you are set could vary a lot based on your profession, and the many decisions you made or what happened to place you there many years before. And finally, the way that humans react to drugs that they take voluntarily may be very different from the way rats react to drugs that are given to them. We have expectations of what drugs will do to our performance that rats (presumably) don’t have.