Saturday, November 09, 2013

Mental Fatigue and Ethical Behavior

The Wall Street Journal reports today on a study by Maryam Kouchaki and Isaac Smith published in Psychological Science.  In a series of experimental studies, their research shows that people have a great tendency to engage in unethical behavior in the afternoon than in the morning.  Why?  According to the newspaper, "The researchers found evidence that, as the day wears on, mental fatigue sets in from hours of decision making and self-regulation, raising the odds of transgression."  It makes me wonder... have any studies examined whether people are more likely to engage in unethical behavior while multitasking?  Does distraction work in the same way that fatigue does, raising the odds of transgressions? 

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