Creating a free account will enable you to subscribe to our daily and weekly email newsletters, as well as customize your reading experience to show only the categories most relevant to you.
Signing up only take a few minutes, so why not give it a try and see what you've been missing out on.
The Junior Professor for Social and Media Psychology Dr. Kai Kaspar from the University of Cologne has examined how physical cleansing affects us after failure. The result: test subjects who washed their hands after a task were more optimistic than those who did not wash their hands, but it hampered their future performance in the same task domain.
The findings of the study were published in the renowned journal Social Psychological and Personality Science. For his experiment, Kaspar took 98 subjects in three groups. In the first part of the experiment, participants from two groups had to solve an impossible task. Both the group who after failing washed their hands as well as the one that did not wash their hands were optimistic that they would do better the second time. The optimism of the group who washed their hands was, however, much greater.
In contrast to the usual finding that higher optimism results in better performance, the opposite was the case here: the subjects who did not wash their hands did considerably better than the group who washed their hands. Instead, the performance of those who had washed their hands was on the level if the third group who had not experienced failure and only taken part in the second test run.
According to Kaspar, it can be concluded from the results that while physical cleansing after failure may eliminate negative feelings, it reduces the motivation to try harder in a new test situation to restore one's own perception of competence. Hence, physical cleansing seems to result in being in a better position to deal with failure. The study will prompt more focus on the daily ritual of washing from the psychological perspective especially the effects on our actions.
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
Visit our Psychology / Psychiatry category page for the latest news on this subject.
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
University of Cologne. "The psychology of physical cleansing." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 28 Oct. 2013. Web.
10 Dec. 2013. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/267944>
University of Cologne. (2013, October 28). "The psychology of physical cleansing." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
If you write about specific medications, operations, or procedures please do not name healthcare professionals by name.
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact the our editorial team, please use our feedback form. Please send any medical news or health news press releases to:
Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.
This page was printed from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/267944.php
Visit www.medicalnewstoday.com for medical news and health news headlines posted throughout the day, every day.
© 2004-2013 All rights reserved. MNT (logo) is the registered trade mark of MediLexicon International Limited.