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You're A Bigger Liar Later In The Day

A new study finds people lie and cheat in the afternoon

We hate to say it, but you're a better person in the morning. And it's not just us saying it: Science knows it's true, too. Research from Harvard University's Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics found that people are generally nicer, more virtuous and generally more ethical in the morning. They exert less self control as the day goes on.

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"From the moment people wake up in the morning, daily life requires the exertion of self-control," write study authors Maryan Kouchaki and Isaac Smith. "In deciding what to eat for breakfast, where to go and why, or even what to say and to whom, people regulate and control their desires and impulses."

But as the day goes on? Your ability to control yourself weakens. "Normal, unremarkable experiences associated with everyday living can deplete one's capacity to resist moral temptations," they write. "In other words, people are more likely to act ethically and to overcome temptation in the morning than later in the day."

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Which means you're more likely to lie, cheat, and generally be a crappy person as the day wears you down. The takeaway? If you've got to make moral choices, schedule time to make them in the mornings, when you're more apt to properly weight the decision. The less important choices -- like say, whether or not to give in and buy the new Katy Perry record? Save it for the afternoon. [NBC News]


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