Peeing away your cash

Evidence piles up that the body and mind are inseparable.  For we all know that you should NOT:

  1. Wait until you are hungry to buy food.
  2. Wait until you desire sex to plan protection.
  3. Wait until your bladder is empty before making life-changing decisions.

What, you never heard of #3?  Well, here it is in the April 5th issue of Psychological Science which published a study by Dutch and Flemish researchers (PDF).

In their study, they gave a test were participants were given the option to hold out for a greater monetary gain ($$$) vs getting an immediate lower monetary gain ($).  Some participants had full bladders prior to the test and others had empty bladders.  The full bladder crowd (who drank 5 glasses of water prior to deciding) tended toward $$$ while those with empty bladders tended toward $.

It seems that when our minds are inhibiting out bladders from peeing they also have a tendency to inhibit our impulsive behavior (admittedly occasionally advantageous).

So like any science knowledge, this information can be used to help us by reminding us to gulp down water prior to some investment decisions.  Or this information could be used to harm us: for instance, stores may start making bathrooms more available for shoppers or on-line sites may send subliminal signals telling us to get up and pee before we continue shopping.


Filed under Philosophy & Religion

2 responses to “Peeing away your cash

  1. This is an awesome post, S, and I’m surprised it didn’t create more conversation!

    I like the fun parallel conclusion of inhibit bladder/inhibit impulsive behavior.

    It kind of made me wonder though — when we are inhibiting a bodily function, are we more aware, more conscious? Sort of a meditative state kind of thing? It might be interesting to compare bladder inhibiting brains to monk prayer brains…

  2. Hey Andrew!
    Yes, I was very happy with this post and disappointed to see not interaction. It says more than many other posts. I am so glad you get it. I have another thought on this and will post it and see if I have any readers left who are interested.
    I think I have lost readers as I jump between Christianity, Buddhism, health, philosophy, linguistics and psychology. But that is OK. Glad you liked it.

    Concerning your question: I think inhibition helps one to not follow the natural monkey nature of mind. So maybe in someways it helps. Perhaps we should meditate on a full bladder. 🙂 Or maybe that would be cheating, we should learn to stimulate that part of the brain by will instead of involuntarily only.

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