Saturday, May 8, 2010

Other Benefit of Washing Hands

Lady Macbeth may have been onto something when, after murdering King Duncan, she washed her hands not only to rid herself of the blood, but also the guilt.

New Scientist has published an interesting study that suggests washing hands can wipe away one's emotional consequences of decisions, big and small.

Researchers gave 2 groups a stack of 10 CD's to rank. One group was allowed to wash their hands afterward. The test was repeated. Surprisingly, the second round of tests found that the group that did not wash their hands placed the same CD's they had previously liked at a higher rank and those they had rejected at a lower rank than before. In contrast, the people who had initially washed their hands ranked the CD's the same as the first time.

The results indicate that hand washing removes the tendency to justify a decision that has been made.

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