The disgust-promotes-disposal effect
Purchase on Springer.com
$39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95*
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.
Individuals tend toward status quo bias: preferring existing options over new ones. There is a countervailing phenomenon: Humans naturally dispose of objects that disgust them, such as foul-smelling food. But what if the source of disgust is independent of the object? We induced disgust via a film clip to see if participants would trade away an item (a box of unidentified office supplies) for a new item (alternative unidentified box). Such “incidental disgust” strongly countered status quo bias. Disgusted people exchanged their present possession 51% of the time compared to 32% for people in a neutral state. Thus, disgust promotes disposal. A second experiment tested whether a warning about this tendency would diminish it. It did not. These results indicate a robust disgust-promotes-disposal effect. Because these studies presented real choices with tangible rewards, their findings have implications for everyday choices and raise caution about the effectiveness of warnings about biases.
- Cryder, C. E., Lerner, J. S., Gross, J. J., & Dhal, R. E. (2008). Misery is not miserly. Psychological Science, 19, 525–530. CrossRef
- Curtis, V. (2011). Why disgust matters. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 366, 3478–3490. CrossRef
- Ekman, P. (1992). An argument for basic emotions. Cognition and Emotion, 6, 169–200. CrossRef
- Forgas, J. P. (2003). Affective influences on attitudes and judgments. In R. J. Davidson, K. R. Scherer, & H. H. Goldsmith (Eds.), Handbook of affective science (pp. 596–618). New York: Oxford University Press.
- Foster, C. A., Witcher, B. S., Campbell, W. K., & Green, J. D. (1998). Arousal and attraction: Evidence for automatic and controlled processes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 86–101. CrossRef
- Frijda, N. H. (1986). The emotions. New York: Cambridge University Press.
- Gross, J. J., & Levenson, R. W. (1993). Emotional suppression: Physiology, self-report, and expressive behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 64(6), 970–986. CrossRef
- Haidt, J., McCauley, C. R., & Rozin, P. (1994). Individual differences in sensitivity to disgust: A scale sampling seven domains of disgust elicitors. Personality and Individual Differences, 16, 701–713. CrossRef
- Hammond, D., Fong, G. T., McDonald, P. W., Brown, S., & Cameron, R. (2004). Graphic Canadian cigarette warning labels and adverse outcomes: Evidence from Canadian smokers. American Journal of Public Health, 94(8), 1442–1445. CrossRef
- Knetsch, J. L. (1989). The endowment effect and evidence of nonreversible indifference curves. American Economic Review, 79(5), 1277–1284.
- Lazarus, R. S. (1991). Emotion and adaptation. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Lerner, J. S., & Keltner, D. (2001). Fear, anger, and risk. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81(1), 146–159. CrossRef
- Lerner, J. S., Small, D. A., & Loewenstein, G. F. (2004). Heart strings and purse strings: Carryover effects of emotions on economic decisions. Psychological Science, 15(5), 337–341. CrossRef
- Loewenstein, G. F., Weber, E. U., Hsee, C. K., & Welch, N. (2001). Risk as feelings. Psychological Bulletin, 127(2), 267–286. CrossRef
- Nussbaum, M. (2006). Hiding from humanity: Disgust, shame, and the law. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
- Raiffa, H. (1997). Decision analysis: Introductory lectures on choices under uncertainty. McGraw-Hill College Custom Series.
- Ritov, I., & Baron, J. (1992). Status-quo and omission biases. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 5, 49–51. CrossRef
- Rozin, P., & Fallon, A. (1987). A perspective on disgust. Psychological Review, 94, 23–41. CrossRef
- Rozin, P., Markwith, M., & Stoess, C. (1997). Moralization and becoming a vegetarian: The transformation of preferences into values and the recruitment of disgust. Psychological Science, 8, 67–73. CrossRef
- Rozin, P., Haidt, J., & McCauley, C. (2000). Disgust. In M. Lewis & J. Haviland (Eds.), Handbook of emotions (2nd ed., pp. 637–653). New York: Guilford Press.
- Samuelson, W., & Zeckhauser, R. (1988). Status-quo bias in decision making. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 1, 7–59. CrossRef
- Schweitzer, M. (1994). Disentangling status quo and omission effects: An experimental analysis. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 58, 457–476. CrossRef
- Slovic, P. (1987). Perception of risk. Science, 236, 280–285. CrossRef
- Viscusi, W. K. (2011). Written statement for the rulemaking record of the FDA. http://law.vanderbilt.edu/faculty/faculty-personal-sites/w-kip-viscusi/publications/other-documents-and-reports/download.aspx?id=7469
- Weber, E. U., & Johnson, E. J. (2009). Mindful judgment and decision making. Annual Review of Psychology, 60, 53–85. CrossRef
- Wilson, T. D., & Brekke, N. (1994). Mental contamination and mental correction: Unwanted influences on judgments and evaluations. Psychological Bulletin, 116(1), 117–142. CrossRef
- The disgust-promotes-disposal effect
Journal of Risk and Uncertainty
Volume 44, Issue 2 , pp 101-113
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer US
- Additional Links
- Status quo bias
- Decision making
- Industry Sectors