The Smell of Virtue, Clean Scents Promote Reciprocity and Charity

Psychological Science, Volume 21, Number 3, PP. 381-383.

 By Katie Liljenquist, Chen-Bo Zhong and Adam D. Galinsky.

Given the symbolic association between physical and moral purity, we considered a provocative possibility: In addition to regulating physical cleanliness, clean smells might also motivate virtuous behavior. Indeed, moral transgressions can engender literal feelings of dirtiness (Zhong & Liljenquist, 2006). Just as many symbolic associations, such as coldness and loneliness (Zhong & Leonardelli, 2008) or darkness and depravity (Frank & Gilovich, 1988), are reciprocally related (Lakoff, 1987), morality and cleanliness may also be reciprocally linked. We investigated whether clean scents could transcend the domain of physical cleanliness and promote virtuous behavior.

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(Something interesting I found)Posted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 by cait
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