Make people mean (or moral) with fart spray

Every day of our lives, there is the potential for us to learn new and wonderful things. Today I learned that there is such an invention as fart spray. I also learned that I can use it to manipulate people!

All right, amoral manipulators of humanity! If you want to lead an angry mob some time in the future, there are supplies you need to pick up. Torches are impractical, but they really add a touch of mayhem to a mob. You'll want two-by-fours and pitchforks, so people can stab and club their aggression out, and a gun for yourself in case the masses turn on you. You'll also want to head to a novelty store and pick out some fart spray.

If you don't believe that some fart spray can help you, take a look at one study, done at Stanford. It's called "Disgust as Embodied Moral Judgment," and it will tell you a little something. Participants were asked to express their moral opinion on four different subjects: cousins marrying, cousins having sex, driving to work instead of walking, and the public showing of a morally dubious film. The researchers believed that students would have a strong moral reaction to the cousin cuddling than to driving or to the film, and they were right. The hidden variable was a nearby, but invisible, trash can. The bag in the can was, in some cases, sprayed with fart spray - ammonium sulfide in water. There were three variations of the experimental methodology. Sometimes the bag was sprayed a little. Sometimes it was sprayed a lot. Sometimes, it was left alone, so there was no discernible stink.

Make people mean (or moral) with fart spray

The people were asked to estimate a level of immorality for the cousins, the driving, and for the film. The issues were much more immoral for those who smelled fart than for those who had a more pleasant olfactory experience. The researchers double-checked their results by trying another experiment in which participants watched different film clips before filling out their surveys. The experiment was meant to see if people grew more morally severe under the influence of any kind of negative emotion, or if there was a difference between disgust and other emotions. Some people were shown the going-down-the-toilet scene in Trainspotting, some were shown a sad scene from The Champ during which a son watches his father die, and some saw a neutral clip from Planet Earth, the documentary. While the sad participants were more lenient than the documentary-watchers, the people who saw the disgusting clip were more likely to morally condemn behaviors.

Surprisingly, the researchers found that the amount of fart spray didn't have an effect. Light-stink people had the same moral response and heavy-stink people. So, when you're planning your mobbery, use a light touch. Get them indoors, whip up their innate passions, add just a bit of fart spray to the mix, and they'll condemn whoever you want them to condemn, in order to get out of the room.

Via Disgust as Embodied Moral Judgment.