New research suggests that when you're trying to ignore a pressing need to use the bathroom, it might actually help you make better long-term decisions. An upcoming study in the journal Psychological Science will explore how, in the words of researcher Mirjam Tuk, "you seem to make better decisions when you have a full bladder."
Basically: Tuk and her team conducted a study wherein they had participants drink either a lot of water or a little water. Then the participants answered a series of questions about short-term versus long-term rewards--for example, "they could choose to receive either $16 tomorrow or $30 in 35 days." The researchers found that "the people with full bladders were better at holding out for the larger reward later." According to Psychological Science, this suggests that "self-control over one bodily desire can generalize to other domains as well."
So having to pee makes you smarter about considering consequences? Ho ho, maybe Congress should drink some water before they try to conduct wars! Maybe Barry Ritholtz should drink some water before blogging about conversations he has in airports! Or maybe Charlie Sheen should drink some water before, well, doing anything.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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