"Clean your room!": Unpacking Jordan Peterson's Advice

The objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment. ― Marie Kondo

Philipp Berndt

Jordan Peterson's message, "Clean your room," is based on the Broken Windows Theory. The theory says that there's a link between disorder and incivility (within a neighborhood) and subsequent manifestations of serious crime.

The broken window is a metaphor for the chaotic neighborhoods. The place, and everything in it, sends signals to the brain that here you can be disorganized and disorderly and uncivil. The neighborhood changes your behavior negatively bit by bit. This change is the stepping stone to serious crimes.

On the flip side, in the neighborhoods where all the metaphorical broken windows have been fixed and there's no house with dirty rooms, our human brains started to receive the signals from the environment that here we have to be organized and civil and walking and talking like a decent person. This is a subconscious process.

A cleanroom transmits positive signals to the brain and thereby changes our behavior for good. Whereas a dirty room gives out negative signals to the subconscious brain, which changes our behavior in a negative way. That's that.:)


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