If you are thinking of buying a used car, you may want to visit the dealership in the morning.

Chances are, the salesperson will be more honest earlier in the day, according to a recent study that reveals people are more likely to cheat or lie in the afternoon.

Researchers from Harvard University and the University of Utah conducted this study, published in Psychological Science, after observing that experiments they conducted regarding lying, cheating and stealing yielded lower instances of unethical behaviour in the morning.

From previous studies, they knew that a lack of rest and repeated decision-making can result in lower self-control, so the researchers wanted to study whether usual daytime activities would be enough to increase dishonest behaviour.

Time of day is key for ‘moral behaviour’. The researchers say that moral disengagement, which is the extent to which people are unethical without feeling guilt about it, had a hand in how strong the morning morality effect was.

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