Numbers Don't Lie

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Your conscience really can be wiped clean

Here is an interesting observations - in an experiment, participants asked to recall a recent unethical deed they had committed; people who recalled an unethical deed were more likely than participants who recalled an ethical deed (67% vs.33%), to choose an antiseptic wipe as a free gift rather than a pencil. It seems physical cleansing can actually clear our moral conscience.
A different set of participants were again asked to describe something unethical they had done in the past. Some of them were then offered an antiseptic wipe to clean their hands. Next, all the participants were asked to volunteer to help a research student who desperately needed participants. Remarkably, fewer of the participants who’d wiped their hands clean volunteered – 41% of them did compared with 74% of the participants who hadn’t cleaned their hands. Apparently, their moral stains having been washed away, the participants who’d cleaned their hands subsequently felt less of a compulsion to compensate for their previous unethical deed.



Blogger Sicilian said...

Pass the wipes please.

10:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

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9:52 PM

Blogger Forty_Two said...

There's what you'll do, and then there's what you'll admit to doing.

Studies like this are less than redundent.

4:27 PM

Blogger MizEllie said...

What sicilian said!

8:17 AM


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