Coffee, other stimulant drugs may cause high achievers to slack off: research
Something to go with your morning coffee on the west coast: caveat - this paper examined a rodent model. However, the findings do tie in with the big picture of some other papers I have read in the last couple of years.
While stimulants may improve unengaged workers’ performance, a new University of British Columbia study suggests that for others, caffeine and amphetamines can have the opposite effect, causing workers with higher motivation levels to slack off.
“Every day, millions of people use stimulants to wake up, stay alert and increase their productivity – from truckers driving all night to students cramming for exams,” says Jay Hosking, a PhD candidate in UBC’s Dept. of Psychology, who led the study. “These findings suggest that some stimulants may actually have an opposite effect for people who naturally favour the difficult tasks of life that come with greater rewards.”
Hosking says some individuals are more willing to concentrate and exert effort to achieve their goals than others. However, little is known about the brain mechanisms determining how much cognitive effort one will expend in decision-making for accomplishing tasks.