The Psychology Behind Justin Bieber Urinating in a Mop Bucket

Why didn't the young pop star just relieve himself in a traditional receptacle?
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Why didn't the young pop star just relieve himself in a traditional receptacle?


Nineteen-year-old swag-demon Justin Bieber, who maintains a massive and fiercely loyal Twitter following, is a pop star and recording artist of some repute, considers himself Canadian, was recently caught peeing in a mop bucket. "Caught" is maybe the wrong word, but video has surfaced of an incident earlier this year at a New York City nightclub. "Incident" is also maybe the wrong word because this is a video of one of Justin Bieber's friends—who call themselves "The Wildboyz"—filming him while he pees in a mop bucket rather than in a traditional urine receptacle.

Outside of the obvious answers—Bieber is 19 and 19-year-olds often urinate in places they shouldn't; Bieber is Bieber; "That's the coolest spot to piss," as the narrator of the video  says—why is Justin Bieber peeing in a mop bucket instead of a urinal or a toilet? And what does it all mean?

Some people suffer from pauresis, which is a phobia of or an inability to urinate in the presence of others. Doing so in an unexpected place—like, say, late at night in a mop bucket in a kitchen at a night club, rather than a restroom, which tends to get crowded late at night when patrons have been consuming alcohol for hours—would make sense from a pauresis-sufferer's standpoint. However, Bieber is peeing in front of multiple people in the video, so this is clearly not an issue. "The victims of 'shy bladder syndrome' have a fear of leaving the house and being unable to find a 'safe' toilet," writes Dr. Mark Borigini, a rheumatologist, at Psychology Today. "They are thought by some to have an anxiety disorder, a type of social phobia, and yet it is rarely discussed by the sufferer." There is a problem, Borgini continues, with how restrooms in this country are located, which often exacerbates the fears of those with pauresis. That Bieber is peeing in a mop bucket in a kitchen sink may support this claim, but Bieber himself appears not to be afflicted.

After the most recent high-profile case of male urination (the U.S. marines who urinated on Taliban corpses early last year), some psychologists started asking questions that could be applied broadly. Generally: Why pee on something? As Dr. Lynne McCormack, now a psychology professor at the University of Newcastle in Australia, said:

They get caught up in the adrenalin and the group mentality, because when you’re in a group individual responsibility decreases—there’s a collective conscience that seems to somehow be lessened. If you were to ask each of those men individually have them separate from their group, they would probably be as appalled by their own behavior as the general public, but in a group people get caught up.

Not everyone was peeing in this video, but everything else—group mentality, lowering of the collective conscience, appalling behavior—check, check, check. And while all of what McCormack continues to say is in reference to war zones and men peeing on the corpses of people they've killed in battle, it also seems to apply to Bieber and company:

It’s common in any society that’s broken down. I think where you don’t have the constraints of conscience, morality and the infrastructure to deal with behavior that is non-acceptable to the group, you will find this sort of behavior.

After Bieber urinated in the bucket, he sprayed water on a picture of Hillary Clinton's husband and said: "F**k Bill Clinton."