4Having a Bitter Taste in Your Mouth Makes You Judgmental
It's easy to understand why people get short-tempered when they're unhappy. We all know firsthand that as we suffer through the discomfort of a headache, hunger, or lack of sleep, it doesn't take much provocation to turn us into raging assholes. But what about something as simple as a bad taste in your mouth? Is it possible for bitter food to turn us into bitter people?
According to scientists at the City University of New York, the answer is a resounding "Yes, and who the fuck are you to question us?"
"We're wearing safety goggles because we don't want to get your blood in our eyes."
Specifically, they found that bitter foods can make people more judgmental. In an effort to demonstrate how easy it is to turn us into righteous pricks, researchers gave participants a bitter drink, a sweet drink, or a glass of water. They then presented them with several grave scenarios that they had to judge. These included things like eating a dead dog and family members having sex with each other. What the researchers found was that the people who had to endure the bitter drink in their mouths were 27 percent more judgmental than those who drank water or a sweet drink.
So how can an unpleasant taste make us immediately jump onto our high horses? Because the taste of physical disgust is so profound to us that it can trigger our ideas of moral disgust. The two types of revulsion feel so similar that our minds attribute them to the same source. It makes sense -- if you say that something is disgusting, you can be talking about a mob that beat up a homeless man or a smelly trash can -- offending your morals and offending your five senses both trigger the same gut reaction. Zombies eat people, but also they are oozing, rotting, grunting piles of stinking meat -- they make great villains, because the disgust hits us on both levels.
It's the same exact principle with ventriloquists.
So the participants felt as though they weren't just hearing about incest, but that incest was infiltrating their taste buds as well. The takeaway here is that whenever you start feeling morally righteous, try brushing your teeth and see if it goes away before you try to shame anyone. Or you could continually ask yourself if maybe, just maybe, you aren't judging certain people more harshly purely because they gross you out.
3Being Creative Makes You Dishonest
When bosses, teachers, parents, and motivational posters encourage creativity or outside-the-box thinking, they probably don't realize that they're simultaneously encouraging dishonesty. That's because creativity and dishonesty are inextricably bound to one another; creativity allows the opportunity to lie for the sake of self-interest, and then those lies demand more creativity to justify the bad behavior.
In a survey among young professionals, the people who rated their jobs as requiring a high level of creativity also reported more unethical behavior each day at work. Still, that's only one study, and if they really are duplicitous, then who's to say they were honest on the survey? Well, in each case, their superiors corroborated the findings (and also probably fired their lying asses).
"We know what you did. We know what you did. We know what you did."
Also, in an experiment conducted by Harvard University on the relationship between creativity and dishonesty, a group of participants were asked to solve a series of problems that required inventive solutions as a way to get the creative juices flowing. Then they were given a die to roll, and they had to self-report what number they got. However, they were guaranteed the dollar equivalent of each number they rolled: 1 would get $1, 2 would get $2, etc. Defying the law of averages, the creatively primed people self-reported a whopping average of 5, while those who weren't primed self-reported an average of 3. All it took was the belief that they could outsmart some scientists for them to rewrite their ethics in the hopes of getting some extra cash.
This is another one that makes perfect sense once you think it through. Creativity is like a superpower that will inevitably corrupt whoever has it. Being creative grants the related ability to out-think your audience, making it easier to see inventive loopholes and ways around society's rules. Then once you do it the first time, it gets easier and easier to do it again because you're so goddamn good at it.
"Just working on a little art project for my nephew."