Tuesday, October 18, 2016

S/P Brownbag: Spike Lee (Rotman School of Management)

The Social-Personality Colloquium Series was pleased to feature Dr. Spike W.S. Lee who gave a talk titled: A theory of cleanliness: A sketch, some predictions, and implications for embodied processes.

For more information, please visit Spike's website or contact him directly.

Dr. Spike Lee, Joshua Guilfoyle, Prof. Amy Muise, and Francine Karmali

Abstract: Evidence abounds that with soap and wipes, people are not just removing germs and contaminants from their body, but also removing a variety of psychological residues from their mind. Yet no coherent account has been offered for how cleansing produces its diverse effects, rendering this area of work piecemeal and stagnant. The challenge here is that cleansing effects span numerous domains with little in common (e.g., moral behavior, post-decisional dissonance, luck-based risk taking). Is it possible to characterize them all in a unified framework? To address this problem, I have developed the Integrative Theory of Cleanliness. It identifies the essence of cleanliness and postulates 3 procedural components (comparison, separation, restoration), providing a mechanistic explanation for the domain-general nature of cleansing effects. It poses several challenges to conceptual metaphor theory—the dominant theory driving social psychological and consumer research on metaphorical influence. Most importantly, it reveals uncharted territory in the psychological space of cleanliness and makes a wide range of novel predictions.