November 07, 2013
People Lie More In Afternoon Than Morning?

If you want to get the truth out of someone do not wait until the afternoon. The researchers call this the "morning morality effect."

Our ability to exhibit self-control to avoid cheating or lying is significantly reduced over the course of a day, making us more likely to be dishonest in the afternoon than in the morning, according to findings published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

"As ethics researchers, we had been running experiments examining various unethical behaviors, such as lying, stealing, and cheating," researchers Maryam Kouchaki of Harvard University and Isaac Smith of the University of Utah's David Eccles School of Business explain. "We noticed that experiments conducted in the morning seemed to systematically result in lower instances of unethical behavior."

They found the same results people tested in a lab and in experiments done on the internet.

This could be a result of willpower depletion as the day takes its toll on mental resources. A great book on that subject: Willpower by Roy Baumeister and Johh Tierney. It is worth thinking about how to structure your day and the order of your interactions to make the most effective use of your limited supply of willpower.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2013 November 07 06:58 PM 

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