People lie more in the afternoon
People are more likely to take unethical actions, such as lying, cheating and stealing, in the afternoon, according to new research.
In the study, published in Psychological Science, researchers conducted four experiments on undergraduate college students and adults in the U.S. Participants were shown patterns made from dots on a computer, and they were asked to identify whether more dots appeared on the left or the right screen.
Participants were given more money if they cheated and chose dots on the right side, and not for identifying the dots’ sides correctly.
The researchers found that participants cheated less between the hours of 8 a.m. and noon, when compared to the group who participated between noon and 6 p.m.
The findings suggest that the time of day may play a role in whether people act morally, researchers said.
Although researchers did not pinpoint the reasons why people may be more likely to be dishonest later in the day, they said that the study has implications for businesses that want to try to minimize unethical behavior.