Is Disgust a Homogeneous Emotion?
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Many theoretical accounts consider disgust to be a unitary emotion, although others have challenged this notion. We predict that if core disgust and socio-moral disgust are different constructs, then their co-associated elicited emotions are likely to be different, and time as well as gender are likely to differentially affect their intensity (via a greater reliance of socio-moral disgust on cognitive appraisal). To test these predictions, participants were shown photographs of core and socio-moral disgust elicitors and asked to provide a wide ranging rating of their emotional response to each at 3 time points. Each elicitor generated a significantly different emotional response. Furthermore, the disgust response to core elicitors weakened over time whereas socio-moral responses intensified. Males and females showed similar levels of disgust to socio-moral elicitors, but females showed higher levels to core elicitors. Overall, the results suggest that a different emotional construct was activated by each type of elicitor.
KEY WORDS:Core disgust socio-moral disgust emotional context temporal changes gender
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