Urge to void and dishonest behavior: Evidence from a field experiment

Erez Siniver, Yossef Tobol, Gideon Yaniv

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The present paper reports the results of a study designed to investigate whether restraining the urge to void simultaneously facilitates self-control in the unrelated domain of dishonest behavior. We conducted a field experiment in a big shopping center with passersby who entered or exited the public WC. Participants were recruited by asking WC entrants and exiters if they could spare a few minutes of their time in return for a monetary reward. WC entrants indicated on a short questionnaire the intensity of their urge to void as well as its source (bladder/colon), whereas WC exiters indicated just the latter. All subjects were then offered to perform the Fischbacher and Föllmi-Heusi (2013) die-under-the-cup task which incentivizes cheating. The results reveal that WC entrants cheated significantly less than WC exiters, supporting the hypothesis that inhibiting visceral responses may spill over to inhibiting simultaneous dishonest behavior, and that cheating decreased with the intensity of the urge to void. No significant connection emerged between cheating and the voiding source.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110544
JournalEconomics Letters
Volume216
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Die-under-the-cup task
  • Dishonest behavior
  • Self-control
  • Urge to void

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