Feeling cliquey clean

Edge has a fascinating discussion on the social psychology of cleanliness and how our behaviour toward others is influenced by the environment in sometimes quite metaphorical ways.

The interview is with psychologist Simone Schnall and it does tend to be a little meandering although this turns out to be a huge bonus.

Schnall covers a whole raft of eye-opening findings on how our social behaviour is influenced by changes in the environment that seem only symbolically related to our behaviour.

For example, we feel warmer toward strangers when holding a hot drink, we allow our morals to become more flexible when we feel physically cleaner, and we evaluate the whole of our lives less positively during spells of bad weather.

The interview is packed full of these curious meaning-based influences on our lives and is available as a video or a transcript.

Link to Edge talk ‘A Sense of Cleanliness’.


  1. Posted December 10, 2010 at 2:00 am | Permalink

    my borther is wierd when he cleans mark everything has to be perfect including his cloths its dead weird to me me myself a messy desk is a working desk i go off that myself

    • alix
      Posted December 10, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      Interesting topic.

      However, it’s difficult to make head or tail out of the previous comment as it’s so poorly spelled and expressed so ungrammatically.

      Is it a fake?

      Where are you, site moderator?

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