Do 'Clean' Smells Encourage Clean Behavior?

Lady Macbeth will tell you: feeling physically clean can help you restore a pure conscience. Building on that notion, researchers used "clean" smells to inspire good deeds

Years ago, social scientists introduced the broken-windows theory of crime control, which posited that if a neighborhood looked orderly and cared for — with no graffiti or broken windows — potential wrongdoers would be dissuaded from committing crimes there. Now psychologists have proposed a similar theory, which suggests that people can be induced to behave virtuously when their environment smells as clean as it looks.

It's the Macbeth principle of morality, says Katie Liljenquist, professor of organizational leadership at Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Management and lead author of the new study, to be published in...

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