Navigation Links
Dirty hands, dirty mouths: U-M study finds a need to clean the body part that lies

ANN ARBOR, Mich.---Apparently your mom had it right when she threatened to wash your mouth out with soap if you talked dirty. Lying really does create a desire to clean the "dirty" body part, according to a University of Michigan study.

"The references to 'dirty hands' or 'dirty mouths' in everyday language suggest that people think about abstract issues of moral purity in terms of more concrete experiences with physical purity," said Spike W.S. Lee, a U-M doctoral candidate in psychology, who conducted the study with Norbert Schwarz, a psychologist at the U-M Institute for Social Research (ISR), the Ross School of Business, and the U-M psychology department.

The findings of the study, published in the current (October) issue of Psychological Science, support that connection.

For the study, Lee and Schwarz asked 87 students to play the role of lawyers competing with a colleague, "Chris," for a promotion. Each was asked to imagine they found an important document that Chris had lost, and that returning the document would help his career and hurt their own career. Each participant was instructed to leave Chris a message by either voice mail or email, telling him who they were and either lying that they could not find his document or telling the truth that they had found the document.

Next, participants rated the desirability of several products as part of a supposed marketing survey and reported how much they were willing to pay for each product. The products included mouthwash and hand sanitizer.

Study participants who lied on the phone, leaving an untrue and malevolent voicemail, felt a stronger desire for mouthwash and were willing to pay more for it than those who lied on e-mail. And conversely, those who lied on e-mail, typing the same mean message, felt a stronger desire for hand sanitizer and were willing to pay more for that. Saying nice and ethical things, on the other hand, made it less appealing to clean the body part involved in conveying the message.

In scientific terms, the findings showed that "the embodiment of moral purity is specific to the motor modality involved in the moral transgression." Verbal lying increased participants' assessment of mouthwash while lying on e-mail, using their hands, increased the assessment of hand sanitizer's value.

"This study shows how 'concrete' the metaphorical links are between abstract and concrete domains of life," Schwarz said. "Not only do people want to clean after a dirty deed, they want to clean the specific body part involved."


Contact: Diane Swanbrow
University of Michigan

Related medicine news :

1. Dirty Hands Could be Making Australian Kids Ill
2. Spring into Summer with The Dirty Dozen Guide to Playground Safety
3. Give dirty mouths a brush
4. U.S. Pays a Price for Dirty Air
5. Study Finds Home Dialysis as Good as Hemodialysis at Centers
6. C-Reactive Protein Levels Vary By Race: Study
7. TGen/Mayo Clinic/Arizona Cancer Center study finds gene associated with aggressive skin cancer
8. Pet allergies worsen hay fever symptoms, Queens study finds
9. Wider statin use could be cost-effective preventive measure, Stanford study finds
10. New Tool Helps Predict Stroke Patients Risk of Death in Hospital: Study
11. VCU study: Researchers discover a drug combination that shrinks tumors in vivo
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... The Museum of Science & ... a new era of publicly accessible automated technology. Now, by popular demand, the ... guests an up-close look at the shuttle at MOSI’s main entrance. This experience ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... The presidential race normally deals ... So why is it a national news story when Donald Trump makes disparaging remarks ... because appearances count more than anyone wants to admit when it comes to how ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... course in Dallas, TX, on January 29 and 30, 2016. The course welcomes ... functions of their practices, to learn how to better succeed in the modern ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Georgia (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... of a key disease-causing component of bacteria could be effective in fighting methicillin-resistant ... at Georgia State University. , Their study showed that small molecule analogs that ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Dr. Seth D. Margulies specializes in orthodontics ... visit Dr. Margulies to experience the best available orthodontic experience in the area. ... Top Dentist"! , Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... Asia,s largest exhibition and conference dedicated to the Medical ...  - 22 nd April 2016. --> --> ... --> -->   --> ... aging population and the government back up, the Medical Device is one of ... States . With the aging population and the government back up, the ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... 30, 2015 Nevro Corp. (NYSE: NVRO ), ... solutions for the treatment of chronic pain, today announced that ... Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has denied instituting an ... (the ,102 patent).  --> ... Scientific Corporation filed two petitions challenging the validity of certain ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Nov. 30, 2015 ... of the "Orphan Drugs Market 2015-2019" ... ) has announced the addition of the ... offering. --> Research and Markets ( ... "Orphan Drugs Market 2015-2019" report to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: