Drink up - A full bladder can make you become a better liar
Published 23/09/2015 | 17:50
Hold off making a trip to the bathroom if you need to tell a lie: new research has found a link between convincing lies and full bladders.
The study, which was supported by the California State University, invited 22 students to complete a questionnaire on controversial social or moral issues.
Following that, the students were asked to drink different amounts of water – 700 ml (requiring high-control of the bladder) and 50 ml (low-control).
45 minutes later, the students conducted an interview with a panel and were instructed to lie about their opinions on the issues that mattered most to them in the questionnaire.
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Students who had full bladders, showed fewer signs that they were lying than the ones who had drank less water; their answers were longer and more detailed.
The panel only correctly identified a lie 30 per cent of the time as opposed to a 70 per cent success rate for the truth.
"Although we think of bladder control and other forms of impulse control as different, they involve common neural resources," study leader Blandón-Gitlin told the New Scientist.
She explained that although they're subjectively different, in the brain they're not.
"They’re not domain-specific. When you activate the inhibitory control network in one domain, the benefits spill over to other tasks.
“If it’s just enough to keep you on edge, you might be able to focus and be a better liar,” Blandón-Gitlin added.
The findings build on work by Mirjam Tuk of Imperial College London, whose study in 2011 showed that people with full bladders were better able to resist short-term impulses and make decisions that led to bigger rewards in the long run.