A proximal perspective on disgust

Richard Stevenson, Trevor Case, Megan Oaten, Lorenzo Stafford, Supreet Saluja

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The functional basis of disgust in disease avoidance is widely accepted; however, there is disagreement over what disgust is. This is a significant problem, as basic questions about disgust require knowing if single/multiple forms/processes exist. We address this issue with a new model with one form of disgust generated by multiple processes: (a) pure disgust experienced during gastrointestinal illness; (b) somatosensory disgust elicited by specific cues that activate the pure disgust state; (c) anticipatory disgust elicited by associations between distance cues for somatosensory disgust and requiring threat evaluation; (d) simulated disgusts elicited by imagining somatosensory and anticipatory disgust and frequently involving other emotions. Different contamination processes interlink (a–d). The implications of our model for fundamental questions about disgust (e.g., emotion status; continuation into animals) are examined.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-255
JournalEmotion Review
Issue number3
Early online date23 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


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