National Post | Life

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Keeping a tidy desk may encourage generosity and healthy eating while a messy desk delivers its own benefits, such creativity and new ideas, new research by U.S. psychologists suggests.

“Prior work has found that a clean setting leads people to do good things: not engage in crime, not litter, and show more generosity,” Kathleen Vohs, lead author of the study, explains. “We found, however, that you can get really valuable outcomes from being in a messy setting.”

The studies, conducted by Vohs and other psychology researchers at the University of Minnesota were published last month in Psychological Science.

In the first experiment, participants were asked to fill out some questionnaires, which were unrelated to the study, in an office. Some completed the task in a very clean and orderly office, while others did the same task…

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