Washing Away Your Sins: Threatened Morality and Physical Cleansing

@article{Zhong2006WashingAY,
  title={Washing Away Your Sins: Threatened Morality and Physical Cleansing},
  author={Chen-Bo Zhong and Katie A. Liljenquist},
  journal={Science},
  year={2006},
  volume={313},
  pages={1451 - 1452}
}
Physical cleansing has been a focal element in religious ceremonies for thousands of years. The prevalence of this practice suggests a psychological association between bodily purity and moral purity. In three studies, we explored what we call the “Macbeth effect”—that is, a threat to one's moral purity induces the need to cleanse oneself. This effect revealed itself through an increased mental accessibility of cleansing-related concepts, a greater desire for cleansing products, and a greater… 
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