We are simply cleaner if there is more cleaning

We are simply cleaner if there is more cleaning

Our behavior is continuously fed back by our environment . From our degree of vandalism and civility depending on whether we feel observed or not (or if the environment shows signs of vandalism, as the undisputed theory of broken windows refers), to the cleanliness itself.

For example, why is it that in Japan there are hardly any bins on the streets but there are no papers on the ground and, on the contrary, in other cities full of bins we find much more dirt on the floor?

Contagion effect

In a study carried out in the outdoor parking lot of a supermarket, all the bins were eliminated and many advertising brochures were hung on the windows of parked vehicles. What were people doing with those useless papers?

If there were already papers on the ground in the parking lot, people behaved in one way, and if the parking lot was clean, in another. You can already imagine which is which, as Pere Estupinyà refers to in his book To live science :

On the one hand, the researchers found that when the parking lot was pristine, between 20 and 30 percent of the drivers were prosocial and kept the brochure in their car or in their pocket. For the latter, what "came from within" was to do "the right thing", while the former did the opposite. But if you look closely, the most striking thing about these results is not that some drivers always throw the brochure on the ground or keep it regardless of whether the parking lot is dirty or not, but that there were between 40 and 60 percent of people whose behavior depended on that of others. That is, they threw the paper on the floor if the place was dirty and they kept it if it was clean.

Image | holly