Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Washing your hands makes you optimistic

Date:
October 24, 2013
Source:
University of Cologne - Universität zu Köln
Summary:
Washing our hands influences how we think, judge and decide. This is what researchers confirmed through experiments when examining how physical cleansing affects us after failure.

Washing our hands influences how we think, judge and decide. This is what researchers were able to confirm through experiments over the last few years. 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.  


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Cologne - Universität zu Köln. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. K. Kaspar. Washing One's Hands After Failure Enhances Optimism but Hampers Future Performance. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2012; 4 (1): 69 DOI: 10.1177/1948550612443267

Cite This Page:

University of Cologne - Universität zu Köln. "Washing your hands makes you optimistic." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131024141313.htm>.
University of Cologne - Universität zu Köln. (2013, October 24). Washing your hands makes you optimistic. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131024141313.htm
University of Cologne - Universität zu Köln. "Washing your hands makes you optimistic." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131024141313.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Work Can Be Stressful, But Is Unemployment Worse?

Work Can Be Stressful, But Is Unemployment Worse?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) — A new study shows stress at work can be hard on your health, but people who are unemployed might be at even greater risk of health problems. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google (Kind Of) Complies With 'Right To Be Forgotten Law'

Google (Kind Of) Complies With 'Right To Be Forgotten Law'

Newsy (July 31, 2014) — Google says it is following Europe's new "Right To Be Forgotten Law," which eliminates user information upon request, but only to a certain degree. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stroke Signs: Three Hour Deadline

Stroke Signs: Three Hour Deadline

Ivanhoe (July 31, 2014) — Sometimes the signs of a stroke are far from easy to recognize. Learn from one young father’s story on the signs of a stroke. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Grain Brain May Be Harming Us

Grain Brain May Be Harming Us

Ivanhoe (July 31, 2014) — Could eating carbohydrates be harmful to our brain health? Find out what one neurologist says about changing our diets. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins