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Can a citrus aroma help kids?

Posted on: November 13th, 2009

Can a citrus aroma help kids clean up their room and clean up their act?

Using a citrus scented spray, US researchers have discovered participants are dramatically more ethical and charitable in their behaviour towards others.

Research conducted by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Illinois showing the smell of a clean and fresh room is sufficient to provoke a subconscious impulse towards fairness. Psychologist and professor, Adam Galinsky who worked on the study claimed, “basically our study shows that morality and cleanliness can go hand in hand”.

Participants in the study carried out tasks in either regular or freshly lemon-scented rooms. The first experiments evaluated fairness, the second whether clean scents would encourage charitable behaviour. In the clean scented rooms participants were more than 100@, less likely to exploit the trust of their experiment partners, and indicated they were more interested in volunteering and donating funds to a charitable cause.

“This is a very simple and unobtrusive way to promote ethical behaviour … Our research suggests that getting our kids to clean up their rooms might help them clean up their acts too…” said Katie Lilenquist (Assistant Professor at Brigham Young University, Nmarriott School of Management.

Research has previously confirmed that scents play an active role in reviving positive or negative experiences.