R. M. Foxx, Andrea Rubinoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Excessive coffee drinking can have deleterious effects because of the large amounts of caffeine that are ingested. Caffeine is thought to be addicting, and prolonged and excessive use can lead to caffeinism, a condition that has serious behavioral and physiological side effects. The present study developed and evaluated a treatment program to reduce excessive daily coffee drinking to moderate and presumably safer levels. Three habitual coffee drinkers received individualized changing criterion programs that systematically and gradually reduced their daily caffeine intake. The coffee drinkers were required to self‐monitor and plot their daily intake of caffeine. They received monetary prizes for not exceeding the treatment phase criteria and forfeited a portion of their pretreatment deposit when they did. Their coffee drinking decreased from almost nine cups per day (over 1100 mg of caffeine) during baseline to less than three cups per day (less than 343 mg) at the end of treatment or a reduction of 69%. The treatment effect was maintained during a 10‐month follow‐up, averaging a 67% reduction from baseline. The program appears to be a reasonable method of reducing and then maintaining daily caffeine intake at less harmful levels. 1979 Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-344
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of applied behavior analysis
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1979

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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