December 23, 2019 — February 19, 2023


Content warning:

Horror themes, racism, sexism, homophobic, probably other prejudices

Figure 1

1 Conservatism

To look into: is disgust conservative? I am a priori skeptical, because this area of research commenced during the peak of the social psychology replication crisis, but it bears looking in to.

Ruisch et al. (2022):

A large body of research has demonstrated that individuals who are dispositionally more disgust-sensitive tend to be more politically conservative, both in their self-identifications (i.e., symbolic ideology) and issue-positions (i.e., operational ideology) (e.g. Terrizzi, Shook, and McDaniel 2013; Inbar, Pizarro, and Bloom 2009), as well as in their voting habits (Inbar et al. 2012; Shook et al. 2017). This relationship between disgust sensitivity and conservatism tends to be strongest with respect to potential interpersonal contamination. That is, those who are more disgusted by interpersonal infection are most prone to holding conservative attitudes (Inbar et al. 2012).

2 Connection to horror

See technohorror for now.

3 Disease, contagion, xenophobia

I have qualms about this research, but also some interest. Seems to start with Faulkner et al. (2004) but still be live now.

Zakrzewska et al. (2023):

Using structural equation modelling, we found support for our pre-registered hypotheses: higher BODS levels were associated with more xenophobic attitudes; this relationship was partially explained by perceived dissimilarities of the refugees’ norms regarding hygiene and food preparation, and general attitudes toward immigration. Our results support a theoretical notion of how pathogen avoidance is associated with social attitudes: ‘traditional norms’ often involve behaviours that limit inter-group contact, social mobility and situations that might lead to pathogen exposure

4 References

Ahn, Kishida, Gu, et al. 2014. Nonpolitical Images Evoke Neural Predictors of Political Ideology.” Current Biology.
Faulkner, Schaller, Park, et al. 2004. Evolved Disease-Avoidance Mechanisms and Contemporary Xenophobic Attitudes.” Group Processes & Intergroup Relations.
Feinberg, Antonenko, Willer, et al. 2014. Gut Check: Reappraisal of Disgust Helps Explain Liberal–Conservative Differences on Issues of Purity. Emotion.
Inbar, Pizarro, and Bloom. 2009. Conservatives Are More Easily Disgusted Than Liberals.” Cognition and Emotion.
Inbar, Pizarro, Iyer, et al. 2012. Disgust Sensitivity, Political Conservatism, and Voting.” Social Psychological and Personality Science.
Kusche, and Barker. 2019. Pathogens and Immigrants: A Critical Appraisal of the Behavioral Immune System as an Explanation of Prejudice Against Ethnic Outgroups.” Frontiers in Psychology.
Moran, Goh, Kerry, et al. 2021. Outbreaks and Outgroups: Three Tests of the Relationship Between Disease Avoidance Motives and Xenophobia During an Emerging Pandemic.” Evolutionary Psychological Science.
Navarrete, and Fessler. 2006. Disease Avoidance and Ethnocentrism: The Effects of Disease Vulnerability and Disgust Sensitivity on Intergroup Attitudes.” Evolution and Human Behavior.
Ruisch, Boggs, Moore, et al. 2022. Investigating the Conservatism-Disgust Paradox in Reactions to the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Reexamination of the Interrelations Among Political Ideology, Disgust Sensitivity, and Pandemic Response.” PLOS ONE.
Shook, Oosterhoff, Terrizzi Jr., et al. 2017. ‘Dirty Politics’: The Role of Disgust Sensitivity in Voting.” Translational Issues in Psychological Science.
Silva, Cade, Figueiras, et al. 2022. Impact of Infectious Disease Epidemics on Xenophobia: A Systematic Review.” Journal of Migration and Health.
Terrizzi, Shook, and McDaniel. 2013. The Behavioral Immune System and Social Conservatism: A Meta-Analysis.” Evolution and Human Behavior.
Xu, Karinen, Chapman, et al. 2020. An Orderly Personality Partially Explains the Link Between Trait Disgust and Political Conservatism.” Cognition and Emotion.
Zakrzewska, Challma, Lindholm, et al. 2023. Body Odour Disgust Sensitivity Is Associated with Xenophobia: Evidence from Nine Countries Across Five Continents.” Royal Society Open Science.