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Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 31–41 | Cite as

Is Disgust a Homogeneous Emotion?

  • Jane Simpson
  • Sarah Carter
  • Susan H. Anthony
  • Paul G. Overton
Article

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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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jane Simpson
    • 1
  • Sarah Carter
    • 2
  • Susan H. Anthony
    • 2
  • Paul G. Overton
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Clinical PsychologyUniversity of LancasterLancasterUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of HertfordshireHatfieldUnited Kingdom
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUnited Kingdom

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