Psychologists: People with Full Bladders Make Wiser Decisions

Researchers at the University of Twente in the Netherlands found a positive correlation between the need to pee and impulse control:

Their findings contradict previous research which found people who are forced to “restrain themselves” put more pressure on their brain and found it difficult exerting self-control.

Dr Mirjam Tuk, who led the study, said that the brain’s “control signals” were not task specific but result in an "unintentional increase" in control over other tasks.

"People are more able to control their impulses for short term pleasures and choose more often an option which is more beneficial in the long run,” she said.

"The brain area sending this signal, is activated not only for bladder control, but for all sorts of control.


The psychologists tested their hypothesis by asking two groups of people -- one consisting of people who had just drank a large amount of water and one that hadn't -- to make decisions about the future:

They were asked to make eight choices ranging from small, and immediate, rewards to larger, but delayed, ones including choosing to receive either $16 (£10) tomorrow or $30 (£18) in 35 days.

They concluded that people with full bladders were better at holding out for the larger rewards later.


Link | Photo by Flickr user mauitimeweekly used under Creative Commons license

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