Clean People Think They're Better Than You

Aug 27, 2010
Outside Magazine

Clean hands
A new study shows that physically clean people are more inclined than dirty people to judge others harshly, Wired reports.

Researchers at Northwestern university invited 58 undergrads to a shiny new lab to "rate the morality of six societal issues--smoking, illegal drug use, pornography, profane language, littering and adultery." Half of the students cleaned their hands with an antiseptic wipe before answering the questions, half didn't. The half with the clean hands made much harsher judgments than the half who didn't use the wipes.

In follow-up studies, the same outcome occurred: students with a self image of cleanliness judged other people more harshly than their un-clean feeling peers.

Does this mean outdoorsy people who don't mind a little dirt between their toes are more open-minded than their clean-freak friends?

Read more about the study.

--Erin Beresini

Photo courtesy of Arlington County on Flickr.

Filed To: Science

More at Outside

Elsewhere on the Web