Coffee Makes You More Honest

Health & Beauty April 14, 2016 By Vincent

Coffee is brilliant. That's not an opinion, that is a fact! Okay, so I may be a little biased as I write this one handed whilst slurping a flat white from the specialty coffee shop down the road but I have scientific fact to back me up. I recently wrote an article on why coffee is amazing and how it can aid your health but now another study has shown that it can make you more of an honest individual, is there nothing this wonder drink can't do?

Image Source: Julius Schorzman/


Sleep deprivation has been linked to many symptoms of ill health including obesity, high blood pressure and depression to name but a few and so it is always a good idea to get a solid 40 winks in each night but it has also been linked to downright sneakiness. That wasn't the actual term used in the study but it may as well have been because it may promote deception and even delinquency through its effects on self-control and regulation.

Great, but what does this have to do with coffee? Well, we all know caffeine perks us up in the mornings because it is a wonder drug sent from the heavens [citation needed] and we all know coffee contains said life giver so the question is, could this jolt of perkiness make those prone to dishonesty, due to lack of sleep, more honest and genial people? It makes perfectly logical sense and so some keen researchers set out to see if this was the case.

In an experiment that saw 200 students take part in a game that would see them splitting money with another participant. 100 of the students were sleep deprived the other 100 well rested. Half of all participants received a piece of gum containing 200 mg of caffeine, or approximately the same amount contained in a 12-ounce cup of coffee. In an interesting social twist, participants were told they then had the option of informing their counterpart of the financial split or deceiving them with a message that does not allude to the fact of payment and the results are astoundingly telling.

Of all 200 students, the sleep deprived ones were far more likely to send the deceptive message and of those lacking sleep, the ones who had the caffeine in their systems were less likely to be sneaky about payment. In essence, if you get some sleep you'll be less prone to 'ethical lapses' but failing that, dose up on caffeine and it can blunt those effects. Of course, caffeine is by no means an adequate substitute for sleep and can be detrimental in large doses but it can be useful if you do find yourself a little out of sorts after a late night and may prevent you from doing something ou later regret. The result of the study can be found here.

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