142015 lies

There’s new study in the journal of Psychological Science claiming that people are more moral in the morning. The researchers (stretching their creative muscles) have dubbed this phenomena the Morning Moral Effect. What’s most interesting is the implication of this effect on our understanding of decision making and the impact it has on our brain.

In this study, undergraduate students were asked to describe whether dots on a computer screen were clustered on the left, or on the right side. If they said the right side, then they were given a small financial reward, even if they were lying. Results showed that subjects lied 25% more in the afternoon than in the morning.

Lead researchers believe that this is directly linked to “cognitive tiredness,” or the tendency to make poorer decisions when our brains are more worn out. In other words, at the end of a long day of thinking, we lack good judgment, but mankind has known this since the very first one-night stand… so what is the greater implication here?

The answer lies in a similar study showing that subjects are more likely to cheat after making a big decision or resisting temptation. Basically, decisions and acts requiring great self-control or thought take a hefty cognitive toll, leaving us with less brain power to make “good” decisions.

The Main Takeaway

Our brain is like a battery: cognitive power depletes throughout the day as we think more. The more decisions we make, the less we can think, and when we can’t think clearly, temptation doesn’t just come knocking, she barges right on in. Try to minimize the amount of decisions you make in a day and you may just end up making better ones overall.


The New York Times

Comments (8)

  1. J.Gill


    Decisions are made when we don’t have all the information according to IMt. We make poor decisions based on our lack of information. When we open our eyes and perceive the information as it is and think less, we would make less decisions. Well written article.

  2. Han Kim


    This information is on point on summarizing the decision-making process according to IMT model. The IMT says that more information we have the less decision we will make because we only make decisions because we are not so sure about the outcomes. For example, we don’t jump off the building because we simply know that we will just drop and get injured. Just like that if we are more aware of the outcomes considering the environmental factors, more appropriate choices we will make.

  3. Joe Brinkman


    This article relates to an idea proposed by psychologist Barry Schwartz that he calls the paradox of choice. He takes the viewpoint of the american consumer to explain that the array of choices, at a grocery store for example, greatly increases anxiety and makes choosing an option difficult. This relates to the article because Schwartz would likely propose that with more options comes more anxiety, as the article urges that increased decision making throughout the day takes a mental toll on someone. An expert; however, would have the knowledge to keep the choice simple and choose the best option. In doing so, he or she would experience a clearer thought process throughout the day as noted by the article.

  4. Omar Alharthi


    IMT is showing that if people have the information, they will decrease the faulty decisions. The information could get people several choices to make, whether if choices are wrong or right. If choices are wrong that means people have analyzed the information wrong and if choices are right that means they did the right call because they think more. It is simple; more thinking is equal to less decisions, less thinking is equal to more decisions.

  5. Vijayanand Narasimhamoorthi


    I agree with the article. As per IMT study it is known that decisions are made when there is lack of information that is when probability occurs or uncertainty occurs. People need to look at available information to make a decision. Based on the past information, something would be really evident leading to best or correct decision. More information perceived, the less decision making, making conclusions from the perceived information. This implies that Type c person are more in number than Type A, who doesn’t look at the dominant information for better perception.

  6. Mohammed Altraiki


    As the study result shows that people who lied incresed 25% in the afternoon, can tell that some people in this study has no self-control. Meaning that they might have involved in many argument from the morning to noon. Moreover, As they have taken many decisions at the mooring, they might have some argument about them. That’s will affect the decision will be later on. Applying IMT will let the expert who needs to make decisions to have self-control, know what he/she is doing, have vision, listen to others, have a plan, and study the history of the problem before the decision made. IMT will improve the employes to make the right decisions when they need because the person whom making the decision should not be controlled.

  7. Tamir M. Shargal


    Juxtaposing morning and afternoon with the state of the brain after making less and after making more decisions makes a whole lot of sense to me. In the morning, you are refreshed, after a night of sleep; further, decisions are easier to make, as your brain has had a night’s rest to rejuvenate, preparing you to make better judgements. In the afternoon, you are worn down, after a day’s work; decisions are, thus, harder to make, as your brain has taken the toll of a full day’s work, which makes any kind of decision harder to make. To keep your brain at its morning state, throughout any given day, one should put one’s self in a decision to make less decisions. By making less decisions in a day, the brain is taxed far less; it is able to remain refreshed, aware, and concentrated throughout the day, with less “power in the battery,” if you will, being depleted.

  8. Joseph Del Rosario


    This is indeed a unique approach to applying IMT. Since all information is available at any time, one merely has to analyze this information and choose the best option. However in this case, people cannot think properly, which leads to them unable to make a decision later in the day resulting in decision making that often leads to a poor option. This highlights the negative effects of decision making and how we should refrain from making decisions as proposed in IMT.

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