COFFEE BREAK? ELEMENTARY, WATSON!

Coffee break during work activities has become a tradition that has established itself over the years and is a ritual that is repeated in every part of the planet. But it has not always existed, indeed. Only the ’50s in America spread this habit, which then was gradually “copied” by other countries. In common parlance is known as “coffee breaks” (coffee break), not only because during the minute break that were introduced, coffee was the most consumed beverage, but because to push for the introduction of this practice was a ‘industry of coffee! And in fact, consumption of coffee had a surge frightening, and stood at their current levels. This trend has increased steadily over the years, so much so that recent polls have shown that the mixture black is the most popular in the workplace. To facilitate this preference, are certainly beneficial properties that coffee has on the body. In particular, as everyone knows, caffeine increases attention span and combats drowsiness.

Paradoxically, however, as we advance, to introduce this break were not stressed workers who needed to pull a few minutes from its activities, nor was a conquest by the trade unions to protect their rights. The coffee break was invented out of whole cloth by John Broadus Watson (1878 – 1958) American behaviorist psychologist. In those years it was widely considered one of the fathers of this movement, thanks to his work on conditioning based on emotional stimuli and rewards. Since Watson held influence media, an agency that was operating on behalf of Maxwell House (an ‘American company founded in 1892 that deals with the coffee trade) asked his help to increase its revenues.

The pupil, among other things, could not wait to get out of the lab and test his theories on men and not on unsuspecting animals, and then accepted with great enthusiasm this proposal.
In those days, the marketing was in its infancy and then in the United States made his entrance ranking among labor and trade. The theories of Watson, who had attracted the interest of the company producing mainly for their potential “manipulative”, immediately proved very effective, for the happiness of the Maxwell House and … workers!

Dr Watson said that giving employees a little break during work activities, their performance would have increased considerably and thus would improve their productivity. Obviously, the effects of “miraculous” coffee would do the rest. If it was possible to condition monkeys and mice, even more so, through emotional stimuli and sensation of pleasure, it would be possible to influence the behavior of workers. Introducing a fiction of freedom and stopping even for a few minutes work, thanks to the coffee break, it would be consolidated in the idea of workers feel better protected. All those people who enjoyed those few minutes of detachment, however, were unaware that the coffee sector their break represented an increase of profiting handsomely. And in the end they all lived happy, consumers and happy! By the way … good coffee break at all!

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