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People fib when pressed for time

Posted on Sep 06, 11:33AM | IANS

People are more likely to fib when they are pressed for time, says a study that set out to determine whaat factors tend to influence dishonest behaviour.

Psychological scientists Shaul Shalvi of the University of Amsterdam and Ori Eldar and Yoella Bereby-Meyer of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, conducted two experiments on 70 adults.

"According to our theory, people first act upon their self-serving instincts, and only with time do they consider what socially acceptable behaviour is," Shalvi was quoted as saying in the journal Psychological Science.

"When people act quickly, they may attempt to do all they can to secure a profit-including bending ethical rules and lying. Having more time to deliberate leads people to restrict the amount of lying and refrain from cheating," added Shalvi, according to a university statement.

"One implication of the current findings is that to increase the likelihood of honest behaviour in business or personal settings, it is important not push a person into a corner but rather to give him or her time," explained Shalvi.

"People usually know it is wrong to lie, they just need time to do the right thing."