Moralists in the morning and liars in the evening

    Moralists in the morning and liars in the evening

    A few years ago, a study by the University of Massachusetts came to light that, if given the right conditions, most people are able to lie at least three times in less than ten minutes in front of a complete stranger.

    However, it is important not to stop at the statistics, which are only a number after all, and to ask ourselves why we lie. In this sense, a curious experiment conducted by some researchers of the universities of Harvard and Utah, indicates that one of the determining factors of the lie is self-control. For this reason we tend to lie more in the evening than in the morning.

    These researchers studied ethical behavior and realized that people were prone to lie more in the experiments that were developed in the afternoon and so, without thinking twice, they decided to find out why.

    In this regard, they recruited a group of students who were invited to see a series of images that contained dot patterns. Each time, the students had to indicate if there were more points in the upper left of the image or in the one on the right.

    Interestingly, the participants were not paid for the correct answers, but received money for every 10 answers that indicated the upper right area. In this way, the researchers made sure that the volunteers had an economic motivation to lie and choose the right instead of the left. What happened?

    The people who took part in the morning experiment lied less, but those who participated in the evening tended to lie more to earn the money. The researchers called this the "morning morality effect."

    But it doesn't stop there. The researchers also asked people to complete a series of words, such as: _ _ RAL. Curiously, in the morning the students tended to fill in the blanks with words like “moral” while in the afternoon there was more use of words like “coral”.

    Researchers believed that this phenomenon is due to fatigue that causes us to lose self-control. In fact, it is not the first time that a study has shown that when we are tired our self-control suffers and we adopt more self-indulgent and permissive attitudes.

    Therefore, it would not be unreasonable to think that fatigue is a factor we need to consider when analyzing why people lie. The lesson to be learned is that if we are looking for the truth, we will find it more easily in the morning.

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