Recent research has shown that consuming coffee regularly can add years to your life and protect you from heart disease, cancer, liver failure, and even dementia. But it turns out you don’t have to be a coffee drinker at all to enjoy its benefits. A new study shows that simply the smell of a cup of joe can boost your academic performance by helping you score better on tests.
Researchers from the Stevens Institute of Technology, Temple University, and Baruch College discovered that people taking a sample GMAT (Graduate Management Aptitude Test) scored higher when the scent of coffee filled the room. In fact, the smell of coffee, they found, even added an extra layer of confidence for test-takers, increasing their expectations of performing better on the exam.
“It’s not just that the coffee-like scent helped people perform better on analytical tasks, which was already interesting,” says study co-author Adriana Madzharov, a Stevens School of Business professor, in a release. “But they also thought they would do better, and we demonstrated that this expectation was at least partly responsible for their improved performance.”