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Is Coffee an Addiction?

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Grade Level: 6th - 10th;  Type: Health Science + Behavioral Science

Objective:

Learn if coffee is an addiction.

Research Questions:

Coffee contains caffeine, a stimulant to the central nervous system that provides temporary relief of drowsiness. People who have at least one cup of coffee a day often describe themselves as "addicts," but can one really become addicted to coffee? If the answer is yes, coffee addicts should suffer physical symptoms of withdrawal, such as headaches, poor concentration, and irritability.

Materials:

  • 25 daily coffee drinkers
  • 25 occassional coffee drinkers
  • Pen and paper for notes

Experimental Procedure:

  1. First, you should survey each of potential test subjects by asking them about their health and how often they drink coffee. Exclude subjects with chronic conditions or illnesses. Divide healthy test subjects into two groups: those who drink at least one cup of coffee a day and those who drink no more than one cup of coffee per week.
  2. Have your test subjects volunteer to skip the coffee for one whole day.
  3. During that one day, have your test subject write down how they feel hour-by-hour.
  4. After at least one test day, take the test subjects' notes of their experiences.
  5. Compare the two groups. How did their days differ? What symptoms did the daily coffee drinkers experience, if any?

Terms/Concepts: Caffeine; Stimulant; Effects of Drinking Coffee

References:

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