Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford


  • Karlijn MassarEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_2972-1



A feeling of intense displeasure or revulsion in response to an offensive or revolting object, person, or behavior


An evolutionary perspective on emotions holds that the physiological, psychological, and behavioral characteristics of a specific emotion, such as disgust, should be seen as evolved features that have been useful to humans at some point during our evolutionary history. Individuals equipped with a genetic makeup that enabled them to respond to a certain stimulus or situation by experiencing a certain emotion were better able to cope with and respond to recurring challenges and opportunities and subsequently increased their reproductive success (e.g., Cosmides and Tooby 2000). Seen from this perspective, the advantages that disgust has offered to ancestral humans are likely to have been communicative, motivational, physiological, and influential for future behaviors. In the following...


Sexual Arousal Disgust Sensitivity Moral Transgression Genetic Compatibility Sexual Fluid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Work & Social PsychologyMaastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands