The Science Of The Snobs

As a barista in a chain cafe, I have felt the contempt from many a coffee snob.


Just smile and nod boys, smile and nod. 

Why does certain things cause people to become such snobs? Wine, coffee, music, films, dogs – the list goes on.

People can become snobby for a few psychological reasons

A study suggests that people with more money don’t need to rely on other people and relationships as much so are not as good as reading into social situations.

It is also suggested that people will buy things not always because they need these material items but rather because it makes them feel good about themselves. This helps with how you think of yourself.


People buy brands to help support their personal image

Maybe you only drink a certain type of coffee cause of the ethical reasons of the company, or maybe you use a certain technique because you are a person who likes doing things the ‘right way’. Or whatever you like to tell yourselves at least.

One major problem I have with snobby people is when they act like they know everything, and then put others down because of it. Especially because half the time people are just making stuff up anyway.

Take the example of wine.

It’s been shown that when ‘experts’ try wines that a lot of the time they don’t know what they are talking about.


We all have that friend that brings round the ‘fancy’ wine when all you really want to do is to down the bottle to forget the week you’ve just had. 

There was a study a few years ago that basically dyed the colour of the wine that the experts were tasting. These people got thrown off by these visual cues and described what they were seeing rather than the wine they were drinking.

This adaptation comes about as it is quicker for us to register threats when they are visually coming at us rather than smelling or hearing them.

But we are getting off track.

Science doesn’t have an exact definition or description of what it means to be a snob. We can somewhat agree however that it is some form of people thinking they are better than others for some reason or other.


I’m not normally a hipster…. I swear.

It is not only privileged people either who can exhibit this kind of behaviour. ‘Ingroup-outgroup bias’ can show the opposite where people who have less feel superior to those who have more.

This kind of snobbery needs others for it to occur though, so if you don’t feed into it then it will help reduce this. You know you aren’t inferior because you like instant coffee so don’t live up to that stigma. Own that instant gurl!

People get so hung up on how their coffee is that they forget the simple thing – it’s a nice drink, it’s social, warming and just damn tasty. Does it really matter where/how you get it??

So with that, I am now officially finished with my weekly blogging. I hope you enjoyed reading along and learning more with me. Next time you are enjoying a warm cuppa, think back to some fun science and the fact that it doesn’t matter who you are or what kind you are drinking, the coffee will always be tasty.



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