Looks like Wesley was right all along!
A simple spritz of a fresh-smelling window cleaner made people more fair and generous in a new study.
The researchers figure cleanliness fosters morality.
They conducted fairness tests, with subjects completing tasks in a room that was either unscented or one that was sprayed with a common citrus-scented window cleaner.
One test involved a game. Study participants were given $12 of real money, which they were told came from an anonymous partner in another room. They had to decide how much of it to either keep or return to their partners who, they were told, had trusted them to divide it fairly.
Subjects in clean-smelling rooms gave back $5.33 on average. The others gave back just $2.81.
“Morality and cleanliness can go hand-in-hand,”
said study team member Adam Galinsky of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
A second experiment asked the subjects’ interest in volunteering for a Habitat for Humanity service project. On a 7-point scale, those amid the fresh scent ranked at a 4.21 interest level, on average, while those in the normal room came in at 3.29. Rather just donate money? Sure, said 22 percent of the folks in the fresh-smelling room, compared to only 6 percent in the normal room.