If their students are behaving badly, teachers should spray some air freshener into the classroom and that may solve the problem. If you work in an office, maybe you should secretly spray some in the boss’s office while he’s out to lunch. Why? Studies show that People are unconsciously fairer and more generous when they are in clean-smelling environments. The research found a dramatic improvement in ethical behavior with just a few spritzes of citrus-scented air freshener. It’s funny how the brain works, sometimes: almost anything is worth trying.

Researcher Katie Liljenquist says, “Companies [and classrooms] often employ heavy-handed interventions to regulate conduct, but they can be costly or oppressive. This is a very simple, unobtrusive way to promote ethical behavior. Could be that getting our kids to clean up their rooms might help them clean up their acts, too.”

This is a delightfully surrealistic discovery of the kind that builds better brains. If you don’t know what we’re talking about, listen to this week’s subscriber special!

Art credit: Dreamstime.com

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