Wash Your Troubles Away, With Soap
Metaphor is extremely powerful: By washing, people can remove a sense of immorality, unlucky feelings or doubt about a decision, say University of Michigan psychologists.
What's the Latest Development?
The bodily experience of removing physical residues by washing with soap can provide the basis of removing more abstract mental residues, finds a series of recent studies. Spike W.S. Lee and Norbert Schwarz of the University of Michigan found that "people asked to judge the moral wrongdoing of others saw them as worse when exposed to an unkempt room or bad odor than when sitting in a clean room." In another study, individuals asked to recall one of their own moral transgressions felt less guilty after using an antiseptic hand wipe.
What's the Big Idea?
If soap washes away the guilt associated with a moral transgression, can we conclude that frequent bathers lead happier lives? Not exactly, say researchers. "'Cleansing removes the residual influence of earlier experience,' says Lee. If that experience was positive, it would go down the drain too. In fact, washing one’s hands after reminiscing about a positive event limits the warm glow of happy memories, leaving people less satisfied." The studies give a modern context to cultural rites like baptism, which washes sin away with water.
Dozens of mummified cats were dug up this week. This isn't as shocking as you might think.
- Archaeologists in Egypt have found dozens of mummified cats in the tomb of a royal offical.
- The cats will join the ranks of hundreds of thousands of previously discovered ancient kitties.
- While the cats are nothing special, the tomb also held well preserved beetles.
They're at a higher risk for depression, weekend binge drinking, and unnecessary dieting.
- Body dysmorphia is not limited to women, a new study from Norway and Cambridge shows.
- Young men that focus on building muscle are at risk for a host of mental and physical health problems.
- Selfie culture is not helping the growing number of teens that are anxious and depressed.
Detailed (and beautiful) information on 57 million crop fields across the U.S. and Europe are now available online.
- Using satellite images and artificial intelligence, OneSoil wants to make 'precision farming' available to the world.
- The start-up from Belarus has already processed the U.S. and Europe, and aims for global coverage by 2020.
- The map is practical, and more — browse 'Random Beautiful Fields' at the touch of a button.
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