Moral Metaphors: Investigating the Effects of Physical Cleansing on Moral Judgment and the Moderating Roles of Disgust and Private Body Consciousness

[Speaker] Liew, Tze Hao Timothy:1
[Co-author] Cheong, Winnee:1
1:HELP University (Malaysia)

Past research has demonstrated how one's moral judgment may be influenced by physical cleansing. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of physical cleansing on moral judgment and to examine the moderating roles of disgust and Private Body Consciousness (PBC) via a 2 (handwashing) x 2 (disgust) x 2 (PBC) between-subjects design. A hundred and forty psychology undergraduates first completed a PBC scale, which was used to segregate the participants into either High or Low condition. They were also randomly assigned to either watching or not watching a disgust-inducing clip, and then either washed or not washed their hands, before completing the moral judgment scale. Results indicated a non-significant effect of physical cleansing on moral judgment and revealed no significant moderating effects of both disgust and PBC. The present findings contradicted those of past studies, and calls for further research to clarify how physical cleansing affects one's morality.
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