Study Suggests Cleaning Makes You More Moral

My Grandma Doc used to tell my brother and me that "Cleanliness is next to Godliness." Of course she would say this right before she'd put us to work scrubbing floors or washing windows. Thanks to those housecleaning sessions, I have always been somewhat of a neat/clean freak. I never really thought I was any closer to a divine being because of my cleanliness, but I did know that residing in a clean atmosphere made me more productive and happier.

Now there is proof behind my grandma's claims. A new study suggests that clean smells promote moral behavior. According to an article on ScienceDaily, "People are unconsciously fairer and more generous when they are in clean-smelling environments."

The study titled "The Smell of Virtue" had participants engage in several tasks. The only difference being that some worked in unscented rooms, while others worked in rooms freshly spritzed with Windex.

The researchers see implications for workplaces, retail stores and other organizations that have relied on traditional surveillance and security measures to enforce rules.

"Companies often employ heavy-handed interventions to regulate conduct, but they can be costly or oppressive," said Katie Liljenquist, assistant professor of organizational leadership at Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Management and lead author on the piece in a forthcoming issue of Psychological Science. "This is a very simple, unobtrusive way to promote ethical behavior."

To read the entire article, click here.

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