It is well known that hygienic procedures are not only physical but also psychological effects. So, for a long time it was believed that the cleansing of the body promotes morality: for example, it helps to reduce the feeling of guilt and refuse to let Pro-social, but compensatory, and, therefore, faint-hearted practices. Meanwhile, recent observations show that ritualisierungen actions associated with washing, are commonly used in situations that do not involve moral dilemmas. Characteristic potiranie of the skin, in particular, can aim at attracting good luck and avoiding failure, stimulation of thinking, eliminate doubt a perfect choice.
The variability of applications at a relatively stereotyped execution engine indicates that these actions probably reflect universal mental contents. In the new work, canadian scientists presented an integrative model that reveals the symbolic meaning of cleansing the body. The basis for the hypotheses laid down the results of four experiments — the design of each was based on the effect of priming. In the first stage, the subjects using the encrypted phrase or survey formed the setting for a specific goal. In particular, the 103 participants of the first experiment was to make the phrase “a Goal is a high GPA” (GPA) “For, High, Aim, How, GPA”.
After an installation — in this case, academic achievement — half of the volunteers offered to use antiseptic wipes and to evaluate their commercial attractiveness, while others are passively studied the product from the point of view of a potential consumer. Then the psychologists tested the effect of the procedure on the installation. Thus, the participants of the first experiment performed the test of unfinished sentences: they was finishing the words missing letters, while true could be different variants. In particular, the word “LIB _ _ _Y” allowed to like “LIBRARY” (“library”) that is associated with the installation, and third-party “LIBERTY” (“freedom”).
Apart from the neutral answers, the researchers tested the propensity of students to the opposite categories, including in the context of gender. The analysis showed that purification of the body increases the probability of leveling installation. For example, the first experimental group less than control, wrote the words associated with education; participants in the second session, the priming of which was the approval of the health practices after using the wipes more often “forgot” about the installation and between the cereal and chocolate and I chose the latter. In addition, the procedure could affect the significance of primary and secondary installations, so the cleaning has reduced the importance of a beautiful shape to educational success.
According to the authors, the findings suggest that the cleansing of the body could symbolize the division that such actions help people “reset” the motivational sphere, to refocus and adapt it to changing conditions. Psychologists say that the study was short term in nature, and to say that hygiene may complicate the long-term goals prematurely. However, they are likely to simplify the rejection of past attitudes and securing new ones.
The article was published in The Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.
Earlier it became known that the American chemist has abandoned the traditional ways of cleansing the body and the last few years, washes bacteria.