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Disgust and Eating Behavior

Abstract

Disgust is a human emotion that prevents us from having contact with something that might be pathogenic, because it triggers behavioral avoidance of the stimulus. People can vary in their tendency to react with disgust towards cues that indicate the presence of pathogens such as certain odors (e.g., smell of decayed food) or visual cues (e.g., mold, runny nose). This disgust sensitivity was linked to a broad range of behavioral and attitudinal concepts in previous research. After an overall introduction to the concept of disgust, the present chapter focuses on the measurement of disgust sensitivity in adults and the various tools that are available to measure disgust sensitivity. A special focus will be on the domain of eating and food behavior and the introduction of a new scale that enables measurement of disgust sensitivity in the domain of food. Furthermore, the influence of disgust sensitivity on eating behavior in a functional and dysfunctional way will be outlined. In particular, its relationship with selective eating behaviors (e.g., food neophobia) and the acceptance of new food sources (e.g., insects) and food technologies (e.g., cultured meat) will be highlighted. Lastly, the relationship between disgust and hygiene behavior, food hygiene behavior in particular, will be outlined.

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Correspondence to Christina Hartmann .

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Hartmann, C., Siegrist, M. (2020). Disgust and Eating Behavior. In: Meiselman, H. (eds) Handbook of Eating and Drinking. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-14504-0_31

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