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A Good Honest Cup of Coffee Keeps You, Well, Honest — Dave’s Diary

Man, I wish I liked to drink coffee. There are so many positive medical/health benefits in the news about coffee these days. I guess I could just tell people I loved coffee — but then that would be dishonest, and a new study by three college professors found that just two cups of coffee can keep you more honest. The study co-author says people are often mistaken when they think about who the best worker is. He says we tend to think of people who work nonstop as the best employees. But they are often the ones making the worst ethical choices.

It’s something most of us have experienced — when we are sleep deprived we often can’t think straight and that can affect the decisions we make. Researchers found that caffeine can give sleep-deprived individuals the extra energy needed to resist unethical behavior.

In the study, volunteers were kept awake for an entire night, then separated into two groups. In the morning, one group was given a wintergreen placebo gum to munch on, while the other group was given gum laced with 200 milligrams of caffeine.

The results?

Volunteers who were given the caffeine-laced gum balked when researchers urged them to cheat. Those who were given the placebo gum “showed a marked willingness to cast conscience aside and go along with the deception.”

Researchers say caffeine could help you resist by strengthening your self-control and willpower when you’re exhausted. The study even suggests workplaces offer free coffee and nap spaces to help employees stay ethical. Hey, I’m all for that!


I may not drink coffee, but I can always use a good nap — especially if it keeps me honest!


The study was published in the March issue of the Journal of Applied Psychology.(



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