Inhibitory Spillover: Increased Urination Urgency Facilitates Impulse Control in Unrelated Domains (Tuk et al., 2011)
Visceral states, such as hunger and sexual desire, can affect how people make decisions. But would a visceral factor associated with inhibition, like controlling a full bladder, affect decision making? Using four different experimental situations, researchers tested how university students would perform in decision-making tasks after they had a large drink (high bladder pressure) or a small drink (low bladder pressure). They found that individuals who had greater urination urgency had decreased response times, and they were more likely to choose long-term rewards over short-term rewards in decision-making tasks. These findings suggest that the inhibitory signals from increasing levels of bladder pressure could transfer to other domains, thereby improving impulse behavior in unrelated domains.Conclusion: Don't use the restroom before making important decisions...?