The Valjean effect: Visceral states and cheating.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Visceral states like thirst, hunger, and fatigue can alter motivations, predictions, and even memory. Across 3 studies, we demonstrate that such "hot" states can also shift moral standards and increase dishonest behavior. Compared to participants who had just eaten or who had not yet exercised, hungry and thirsty participants were more likely to behave dishonestly to win a prize. Consistent with the specificity of motivation that is characteristic of visceral states, participants were only more likely to cheat for a prize that could alleviate their current deprived state (such as a bottle of water). Interestingly, this increase in dishonest behavior did not seem to be driven by an increase in the perceived monetary value of the prize. (PsycINFO Database Record

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Williams, EF; Pizarro, D; Ariely, D; Weinberg, JD

Published Date

  • September 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 16 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 897 - 902

PubMed ID

  • 27148848

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC5008976

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1931-1516

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1528-3542

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/emo0000158


  • eng