People with full bladders make better liars, new research shows


There is a connection between humans’ ability to tell a lie and their urgent need to urinate, a recent study by US researchers has shown, claiming that those who have to control the bladder perform a deception task better.

Liars can successfully use covert self-control strategies to facilitate deception,” the research which is to be published in the December volume of Consciousness and Cognition Journal, has shown.

To conduct the study which was supported by the California State University, a number of students were asked to first complete a questionnaire on several controversial issues, and then were asked to drink different amounts of water – 700 ml (requiring high-control of the bladder) and 50 ml (low-control) – having been told it was an unrelated task.

Forty-five minutes later the students were asked to do interviews with a panel – instructed to lie about their opinions on the issues that mattered most to them. Third-party observers were assessing the presence of behavioral cues while the respondents lied or told the truth to an interviewer.

In the high-control, but not the low-control condition, liars displayed significantly fewer behavioral cues to deception, more behavioral cues signaling truth, and provided longer and more complex accounts than truth-tellers,” the research showed, adding that it was much more difficult to detect a liar in a person who has drank a lot of water and urgently needed to go to a toilet. “Observers revealed bias toward perceiving [such] liars as truth-tellers,” the study said.

So there you are. If you need to lie, drink plenty of fluids first. 😉