Is Cleanliness Next to Godliness? The Role of Housekeeping in Impression Formation
We conducted a study to determine if the cleanliness of an apartment would affect observer impressions of the resident. Participants (210 female and 126 male undergraduate students) read a story in which a character’s apartment was described as clean or dirty or in which no information about housekeeping was provided. For each condition, half the characters were male and half were female. After reading the story, participants rated the personality of the character. Poor housekeepers received lower ratings on measures of Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Intelligence, and Femininity but received higher ratings on measures of Openness and Neuroticism. Results indicated no significant interactions between housekeeping and participant or character gender. Findings support the idea that housekeeping is a cue utilized in environmental impression formation.
Environment & Behavior
Harris, P.B, & Sachau, D. (2005). Is Cleanliness Next to Godliness? The Role of Housekeeping in Impression Formation. Environment & Behavior, 37(1), 81-101. DOI. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0013916504266803
Publisher's Copyright and Source
Copyright © 2005 SAGE Publications. Article published by SAGE Publications in Environment & Behavior, volume 37, issue number 1, January 2005, pages 81-101. Available online: