Focus the mind: To wee or not to wee?

To wee or not to wee, that is the question.

Need to make an important decision or focus more clearly on a task? The question we are trying to answer in this post is whether you should take a planned wee before or hold on till after a task, and which is better to focus the mind.

To Wee

Lewis, M. S., Snyder, P. J., Pietrzak, R. H., Darby, D., Feldman, R. A., & Maruff, P. (2011). The effect of acute increase in urge to void on cognitive function in healthy adults. Neurourology and urodynamics, 30(1), 183-187.

“found that having an extreme urge to void had a negative effect on attention and working memory functions. The impact on cognitive function was equivalent to low levels of alcohol intoxication or fatigue, and thus, could increase the risk of accidents in occupational settings. These cognitive functions returned to normal almost immediately after voiding.”

Or Not To Wee

Tuk, M. A., Trampe, D., & Warlop, L. (2011). Inhibitory spillover increased urination urgency facilitates impulse control in unrelated domainsPsychological Science, 22(5), 627-633.

Looked at the inhibitory visceral factor—urination urgency—on impulsive behavior. Do visceral factors associated with inhibition deteriorate impulse control? Or might bladder pressure provide a condition under which people’s ability to control impulses, and hence their ability to act in their own long-term best interest, improves?

“A physiological form of control — bladder control — can also facilitate behavioral control.”

Suggest that holding it in actually facilitates our ability to control our impulses and make the best decisions in whatever situation we find ourselves. What the researchers found was that the stronger people’s urge to pee, the better they were at controlling their impulses.

Sign in Canada

In Summary

The Ig Nobel Medicine Prize (2011) was awarded jointly to both studies for demonstrating that people make better decisions about some kinds of things — but worse decisions about other kinds of things‚ when they have a strong urge to urinate.

So probably best just to wee to prevent any accidents!

The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that make people laugh, and then think.

References

Lewis, M. S., Snyder, P. J., Pietrzak, R. H., Darby, D., Feldman, R. A., & Maruff, P. (2011). The effect of acute increase in urge to void on cognitive function in healthy adults. Neurourology and urodynamics, 30(1), 183-187.

Tuk, M. A., Trampe, D., & Warlop, L. (2011). Inhibitory spillover increased urination urgency facilitates impulse control in unrelated domainsPsychological Science, 22(5), 627-633.

 

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