You're More Likely To Cheat In The Afternoon

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 13:00 in Psychology & Sociology

Cheating Valentin de Boulogne via Wikimedia Commons Being an upright citizen of the world is hard work. As the day goes on, the psychological toll of keeping our moral compasses pointed due north wears upon us, and by the afternoon, we struggle not to cheat and lie. People are more likely to resist opportunities to behave dishonestly in the morning, according to a new study from Harvard University and the University of Utah, which used four different experiments to gauge whether the time of day might affect moral behaviors. People who were more honest overall were more likely to experience the afternoon effect. The first two experiments asked undergrad students to complete a visual perception task identifying the number of dots on the left or right side of the screen. The participants were paid by how many trials they completed, not...

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