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Science Has Determined You’re Better At Lying When You Need To Pee

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The line between “scientific study” and “prank” is always painfully thin at best, at least for the study participants. But this seems to take trolling to new heights: A recent study tested whether or not desperately needing to drain the reservoir made you better at lying.

Here’s how it works: Some subjects were given five glasses of water, and others five sips. Then, after an hour-long wait, they were forced to lie to the camera about a social issue they believed strongly in. Other groups of participants watched the video to both rank the truthfulness of the statement and to spot the lie; the crossed-legs group did far better than the slightly hydrated group.

Why? The theory is that we have something called an inhibitory spillover effect; exerting self-control in one area makes it easier to exert self-control in others. That’s contrary to the “strength” model of self-control, where there’s only so much self-control we have, and if we spend it on one task, we may lose it on others. Hence the recent history of giving subjects in studies bladder cramps: There’s no task people want to be successful at more than not darkening their pants in front of total strangers.

This doesn’t necessarily prove the inhibitory spillover effect exists, but it does help reinforce the argument. We’re sure, however, scientists will continue to test this. Especially on subjects who won’t fill out their paperwork correctly.

(via PopSci)

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