Disgust and politics

Disgust has been implicated as a potential causal agent underlying socio-political attitudes and behaviors. Several recent studies have suggested that pathogen disgust may be a causal mechanism underlying social conservatism. However, the specificity of this effect is still in question.

The present study tested the effects of disgust on a range of policy preferences to clarify whether disgust is generally implicated in political conservatism across public policy attitudes or is uniquely related to specific content domains. Self-reported socio-political attitudes were compared between participants in two experimental conditions: 1 an odorless control condition, and 2 a disgusting odor condition.

In keeping with previous research, the present study showed that exposure to a disgusting odor increased endorsement of socially conservative attitudes related to sexuality. In particular, there was a strong and consistent link between induced disgust and less support for gay marriage.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licensewhich permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Funding: The funds used to pay research participants were provided by a small intramural award — the Connor Faculty Fellowship — from the Department of Political Science at the University of Arkansas, which was awarded to Dr.

disgust and politics

Patrick Stewart. The funders of this award Sandra and Robert Connor had no direct involvement in any aspect of the current study. Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Disgust is increasingly seen as playing an important role in the formation and maintenance of political and social attitudes [1]. Disgust sensitivity and reactivity have been shown to relate to political conservatism generally [2][3][3] — [7] and have been implicated in negative and hostile attitudes towards a range of social out-groups, particularly homosexuals [2][6] — [10]. In keeping with the aforementioned research, some have suggested that disgust is specifically related to conservative attitudes that pertain to social or moral purity [11]and, in particular, sexual purity [4][12][13].

One potential reason for these relations is that disgust plays an adaptive role in preserving individuals from the threat of infectious disease [14][15].

disgust and politics

It has been posited that the Behavioral Immune System, which uses the physiological response of disgust as its first line of behavioral defense, shapes political attitudes and resultant policy preferences [5][16]. Smith and colleagues [2] recently addressed these questions by investigating the relations between disgust sensitivity, disgust reactivity — meaning in vivo physiological reaction to disgusting stimuli — and responses to a range of specific political issue items using the well-known Wilson-Patterson scale [17].

Heightened disgust sensitivity and reactivity were both negatively related to attitudes towards gay marriage and premarital sex but not significantly related to a range of other political issues e. They also showed that, after controlling for demographic and experimental factors, greater disgust sensitivity was associated with less support for abortion. Said otherwise, this study showed that both trait and state disgust predicted less support for gay marriage and premarital sex and trait disgust predicted less support for abortion.

It is noteworthy that, contrary to their predictions, Smith and colleagues failed to show any significant relation between state or trait disgust and attitudes about pornography. This is, however, not too surprising given the limited body of research showing a link between disgust and attitudes about pornography [18].

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Evidence from Smith et al. This limitation was rectified by Inbar and colleagues [3] who experimentally tested the effects of odor induced disgust on self-reported warmth toward homosexuals.

They found that, relative to participants in a no odor control condition, participants in the disgust odorant condition reported less warmth toward homosexuals. These findings are similar to those reported by Terrizzi and colleagues [6]who showed that the induction of disgust caused conservative participants to report a decreased willingness to come into contact with homosexuals. What remains to be seen is if the experimental induction of disgust causes attitudinal shifts for other issues related to sexual purity e.

In the present study we extend previous research by carrying out a true experiment to test the role of induced disgust on the same socio-political attitudes measured by Smith and colleagues. This allows us to test the causal role of disgust on a variety of public policy stances while still focusing on issues of sexual purity, particularly gay marriage.

Moreover, manipulating physical disgust via smell allowed for a continuous induction of the emotion, rather than a brief priming of the emotion prior to measurement.

In keeping with the findings of Smith and colleagues [2]we expected the foul disgust odorant, in this case butyric acid, which smells like vomit, to robustly engage the emotion of disgust and decrease approval of gay marriage.

Smith and colleagues [2] reported weak effects between state disgust and attitudes about premarital sex and also found non significant relations between state disgust and attitudes about abortion or pornography.

Similarly, both Smith and colleagues [2] and Inbar and colleagues [9] reported weak, albeit significant, relations between disgust sensitivity and attitudes about abortion. We therefore expected weak, or perhaps non-significant, effects of our experimental manipulation on attitudes about premarital sex, pornography, and abortion. All participants provided written informed consent prior to participating in any experimental procedures.

An experimenter operated a timed slideshow that displayed experimental instructions while monitoring participants at the back of the room, out of their sight. Participants were assigned to either a disgust odor condition or a control no odor condition. Pads were replaced and the room aerated between experimental groups.Show simple item record.

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Some features of this site may not work without it. Show simple item record dc. Using American National Election Studies data, I show that contact with gays and lesbians, long thought to be the primary determinant of support for LGBTQ policy issues, is not as influential or far-reaching as once thought. Then, using experiments, I illustrate the connection of disgust to contemporary opinions toward LGBTQ people and issues.

I also show that there are significantly different emotional and political responses to different subgroups of the LGBTQ community, namely that disgust reactions are significantly higher toward transgender people than toward gays and lesbians.

I also show that the influence of disgust is significant even when controlling for contact with LGBTQ people, and more influential on policy support than the impact of contact itself. Overall, the implications of the project suggest that people who continue to feel disgust, even after or perhaps because of the attainment of legal marriage equality, may be much more difficult to persuade — in sharp contrast to the conventional wisdom that public opinion toward LGBTQ people will continue its rapid progress.

In short, for LGBTQ politics, the influence of disgust means a very different and more difficult future than both activists and scholars currently imagine. At the same time, understanding how disgust affects beliefs and behaviors can help guide future efforts in understanding public opinion on LGBTQ issues, and can help advocates calibrate their strategies more effectively.

The findings suggest that continued success for the LGBTQ movement — and any other movement that confronts disgust — will require the understanding that disgust influences many beliefs and opinions, even among presumed supporters, and that new strategies based on engaging this difficult emotion will be vital.

Rackham School of Graduate Studies dc. Size: Format: PDF. Search Deep Blue Search query. About Deep Blue Data. I argue that the emotion of disgust has played a critical role in the history of LGBTQ politics in America and continues to do so today as an important and underappreciated source of continued opposition to LGBTQ people and issues.Individuals who experience more disgust also tend to show a higher dispositional preference for order, according to a new study published in Cognition and Emotionwhich could partly explain why there is a positive relationship between disgust sensitivity and political conservatism.

For their study, the researchers analyzed data from six different samples, which included 1, individuals from the United States and Canada. In all six datasets, personality was assessed using the Big Five Aspect Scale, which breaks down each of the Big Five traits — neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness, extraversion, openness — into two aspects.

Importantly, conscientiousness is divided into industriousness and orderliness. After controlling for age and gender, the researchers found that orderliness but not industriousness mediated the relationship between disgust sensitivity and political conservatism. In other words, those who scored higher on measures of orderliness tended to also score higher on measures of disgust sensitivity, which in turn was associated with the endorsement of conservative beliefs.

The major caveat for this study is that it is correlational. Karinen, Hanah A.

Immigration law and the politics of disgust

Chapman, Jordan B. Peterson, and Jason E. Political Psychology New research indicates political conservatism, disgust sensitivity and orderliness are psychologically interrelated By Eric W. Dolan October 9, Stay up-to-date on the latest psychology findings. Click here to like us on Facebook.Jump to navigation.

In the late 19th century, Mexican Americans began to build houses in Chavez Ravine, a minute walk from downtown Los Angeles—pushed to the outskirts of the city by the social forces of racial discrimination.

Over the years, other immigrants joined the community, which became three neighborhoods: Bishop, Palo Verde, and La Loma. In the midth century, as the city expanded, municipal authorities plotted to acquire the land with funding from the National Housing Act of Under the auspices of redevelopment, they seized the property by eminent domain—promising that the residents would be allowed to return after the builders finished a public housing project.

Instead of public housing, which he characterized as communist cells, Poulson negotiated the transfer of the land to the Dodgers franchise for a new ballpark, to lure them from Brooklyn.

With bulldozers behind them, the police swept through the neighborhoods and arrested whoever refused to leave their homes. Dodger Stadium was built in time for the season. The racism of urban planning displaced Mexican Americans, Chicanos, Mexicans, and Central and South American immigrants, relocating whole neighborhoods to areas east and south of downtown.

This topology of race directed my Costa Rican mother and Colombian father to a community tucked between industrial parks, in the long shadow cast by urban renewal. At the end of Genesis, socioeconomic forces pull the Hebrews into Egypt to survive the devastation of a famine.

Disgust and Politics

The cries of hungry children compel them to pick up their lives and migrate. Sarna explains in Understanding Genesis. They are to present themselves as useful subjects, valuable to the economy, essential labor. A politics of abhorrence characterizes the reception of the Hebrews.

Despite the disparaging gaze of the long-standing residents of the land, the Hebrews make a home in this foreign land. After a while the factory where my dad worked moved the production line to a manufacturing compound in Tucson, Arizona, in search of a cheaper labor force. Our family had to follow the job.

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However, my parents soon discovered that, with the money from selling our house in California, we could afford to live in a much nicer neighborhood in Tucson, nicer than people like us were supposed to be allowed to live in.

Instead of buying a house in South Tucson, close to the factories, my parents found a spot in the northern part of the city, near the foothills. The plant manager lived up the hill from our home, in the same development but above us, in a house with a view. Civilization has always built its hierarchies into the environment. The four of us—my mom, dad, sister, and I—were the only non-White people in the area.

The neighbors had Lexuses; we had an ocean blue s Volkswagen Bug, well used by previous owners and then by us.But I find it morbidly amusing that people seem to think some of the weirder details of the report are so important, like him supposedly paying prostitutes to pee on the mattress that Obama would sleep on. If the actual ties to Russia are substantiated maybe it would provide Republicans in congress enough cover to start an impeachment process so they could get the ultra-conservative Mike Pence that they really want.

What it grasped was mostly shapeless, just vague ideas. Politics is nothing like a bowl of cherries with a cockroach in it.

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However, if the politician has said anything remotely racist or sexist, to liberals this seems to be a cockroach that should bar them from office, and liberals will often be the loudest to express shock and disgust at conservatives for not feeling similarly.

Of course, many conservatives do, but the tolerance point is clearly set at a different place. Again, some liberals do, but again, the tolerance point appears to be set differently, in general. But beyond vague ideas like that, the analogy falls apart. There are too many examples of people who are happy to vote for a bowl of cockroaches, even if only for a single, juicy enough cherry.

And since politics in the US often comes down to a choice between two imperfect options, I can understand that. The only really concerning part is when tribalism rears its ugly head, and cockroaches are called cherries to avoid admitting flaws, or quietly ignored so as to avoid that feeling of dissonance. It also might reduce the toxicity and antagonism around political discussions, if people are willing to admit to themselves as well as others how imperfect their politicians are, and hold them to a higher standard on both sides.

Thank you! Your email address will not be published. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Walk with me a spell. Spelling error report The following text will be sent to our editors:. Send Cancel.Take a look at my favorite plastic-free cold remedies. More importantly, we can avoid all waste by opting for reusable hankies.

Some people make their own out of old t-shirts and cloth diapers. I found lots of hankies at a thrift shop. Another ingenious idea is the HankyBook, which makes carrying a cloth hanky so much neater. In other words, plastic fabric.

And all synthetic fabrics create microfiber pollution when laundered. When buying new clothes, I look for organic cotton, hemp, ethically-raised wool, and other natural fibers. I avoid conventional cotton because of pesticides used to grow it. Sometimes the best place to find these materials is online. One of my favorite sources is Hempest. Just be sure and request no plastic packaging when placing your order.

But I know a lot of you crafty crafters are up for it. Be sure and choose natural fabrics. Take them to a tailor or cobbler for alteration. During my Buy Nothing New year in 2016, I had a pair of shoes modified to fit my feet better. Or be less discreet, depending on your relationship with the host. I carry a little stainless steel wine glass (which is good for events where glass is not allowed) and bamboo utensils with me, just in case.

Provide durable dishes, glasses, utensils.

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Ask guests to bring their own dishes or at least cups. Stock up on thrift store utensils and mugs (mixing and matching crazy mugs can be fun) especially for parties. Request no plastic cling-wrap on potluck offerings. Ask guests to bring containers for leftovers, as they did at our Thanksgiving potluck.

Opt for a real, sustainably-grown and harvested tree, a live tree that can be planted, or an artificial tree made from natural materials. Say no to fake plastic wishbones. Opt for experiences or services (like restaurant meals, tickets to events, your help with a task) over stuff. Read my comparison of charitable gift cards here. But it can be done in a kind way. And use paper tape for other types of packaging needs.

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Of course, reusing gift bags, reusing wrapping paper, and wrapping presents in reusable cloth bags or furoshiki are the best options. When that happens, I include a message to the seller requesting zero plastic or Styrofoam packaging, including plastic tape.

And I send back unwanted plastic I receive unsolicited in the mail or on my doorstep.I can not praise this tour company enough.

disgust and politics

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