Caffeine Keeps Employees Ethical, Study Says
A recent study has found that sleep deprivation can lead to unethical behavior, but caffeine can counteract the effect. David T. Welsh, et al., “Building a Self-Regulatory Model of Sleep Deprivation and Deception: The Role of Caffeine and Social Influence,” Journal of Applied Psychology, March 2014. Researchers kept volunteers awake overnight then gave half of the participants a piece of gum laced with 200 mg of caffeine. The researchers then created situations emulating work environments in which a boss or a peer pressured the participants to “cut ethical corners at work” by lying to earn extra money. The caffeinated subjects consistently refused to lie, while the non-caffeinated subjects were significantly more willing to participate in the deception. “Our results support supplying employees with caffeinated products,” the researchers report, although they warn that caffeine consumption is not a replacement for sleep.