Researchers from Harvard University have recently published a study in Psychological Science about the time of day that men are most likely to cheat on their partner. They have found that in the afternoon people are a lot less ethical than they are in the morning. This doesn’t just apply to being ethical about relationships either. It could be about school, work, or friends and family.
Harvard and the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business took the participants of the study and had them look at a split screen. On that screen were different patterns of dots. They were then asked which side of the screen had more dots. They were then given money when they answered the question. When they answered with the right side of the screen however they were given ten times the amount the received when they said the left side.
Both test groups that were a part of the study had those who lied, however the group that was studied in the afternoon was far less honest than the group in the morning. More behind the scenes studies that were taking place with other researchers also found that in the afternoon more people claimed that they had solved and unsolvable puzzle and also sent more dishonest messages via email or social media to their partners.
What is the reasoning behind our lack of ethics in the afternoon? As we go through the day we have less and less self-control. They found that this was especially true for people who held themselves to really high moral standards. They were ethically “pooped” so to speak by the afternoon.