Washing One's Hands After Failure Enhances Optimism but Hampers Future Performance

Autor(en): Kaspar, Kai 
Stichwörter: COGNITIVE FLEXIBILITY; embodied cognition; optimism; performance; physical cleansing; Psychology; Psychology, Social; SELF
Erscheinungsdatum: 2013
Herausgeber: SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC
Journal: SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL AND PERSONALITY SCIENCE
Volumen: 4
Ausgabe: 1
Startseite: 69
Seitenende: 73
Zusammenfassung: 
Previous studies showed that washing one's hand not only removes dirt from the body, it also weakens one's guilt after immoral behavior, makes moral judgment of others' misdeeds less severe, reduces post-decisional dissonance effects, and can help wash off bad luck. The present study broadens this scope by investigating the psychological impact of physical cleansing in a performance setting. The results show that physical cleansing enhances optimism after failure, but it hampers future performance in the same task domain. Hence, the influence of physical cleansing is neither limited to the moral domain nor to the decision-making processes which are metaphorically linked to the concept of cleanliness. Moreover, the impact of physical cleansing on higher cognitive processes does not seem to be always positive, but it helps close a matter. Starting points for future research are discussed.
ISSN: 19485506
DOI: 10.1177/1948550612443267

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