An Interesting new study was published in the September 8, 2006, issue of Science. Two researchers delved into whether people who have done something unethical -- aka sinned -- are more likely to want to clean up than those who haven't fallen.
The authors summarize their findings this way: "Daily hygiene routines such as washing hands, as simple and benign as they might seem, can deliver a powerful antidote to threatened morality, enabling people to truly wash away their sins."
Fox News breaks it down this way: "Rituals that cleanse the body to purify the soul are at the core of religions worldwide. Scientists have now found that these ceremonies apparently have a psychological basis." The investigators had people read short stories. After reading, the participants were then asked to rate cleaning products. Those who read an unethical story written in first person rated the cleaning products more highly then those who had read an ethical story.
Thanks to Stephanie for pointing out this article to me! Fascinating research. What do you think?