The Lady Macbeth Effect

Rajneesh Narula

(Another in my occasional essay series)




It is very timely that I received this article from Science (attached) which succeeds in being quite thought provocative while getting to the heart of the matter in exactly 2 pages (including references).


It discusses the concept of the Macbeth effect. To put it succinctly, there seems to be a direct correlation between our moral ‘cleanliness’ and our desire to keep ourselves physically clean.


I have not much to add, except that it isn’t clear to me what the direction of causality is:

1. Should one be suspicious of the moral turpitude of obsessively clean people? or,

2. Do really clean people by nature tend to have an unimpeachable character?


Food for thought, people, and next time you pick up that bar of soap, think, ‘am I symbolically cleansing my guilt, or do I really need a good wash?’!