Are we more dependable and trustworthy at breakfast than at dinner?
Are you tired of your account managers giving you the runaround about their weekly TPS reports? Try moving your meetings with them to the a.m.! According to a just-released study from the Association for Psychological Science (APS), straight answers are more likely in the morning than in the afternoon.
The APS study proposes that the rigors of everyday living erode our capacity to resist lying and cheating, using four experiments to substantiate what researchers call the “morning morality effect.” The morning morality effect basically means that, by the end of the day, our ability to process moral decisions and maintain self-control is about as effective as an empty can of air freshener.
The study also found that people with a greater innate propensity for theft, murder, and bullshit are influenced by the morning morality effect to a greater degree than those with a naturally heightened sense of moral awareness. In other words, unless you’re a codependent fixer, the colleagues you likely already avoid will get even worse toward quittin’ time, while the steadfast goody-goodies will be more likely to resist the temptation to act on their amoral thoughts.
(Still, ever notice how impatient the sanctimonious types can become by the end of the day? Sounds to me like the APS is sayin’ that, come four o’clock, even the cloyingly self-righteous can’t help plotting to kill their rich uncles.)