Anger, disgust, and presumption of harm as reactions to taboo-breaking behaviors.

Gutierrez, Roberto and Giner-Sorolla, Roger (2007) Anger, disgust, and presumption of harm as reactions to taboo-breaking behaviors. Emotion, 7 (4). pp. 853-868. ISSN 1528-3542. (doi:https://doi.org/10.1037/1528-3542.7.4.853 853) (Full text available)

Abstract

Three experiments investigated the relationship between the presumption of harm in harm-free violations of creatural norms (taboos) and the moral emotions of anger and disgust. Experiment 1 showed that participants made a presumption of harm to others from taboo violations even in conditions described as harmless and not involving other people; this presumption was predicted by anger and not disgust. Experiment 2 manipulated taboo violation and included a cognitive load task to clarify the post-hoc nature of presumption of harm. Experiment 3 was similar but more accurately measured presumed harm. In Experiments 2 and 3, only without load was symbolic harm presumed, indicating its post-hoc function to justify moral anger, which was not affected by load. In general, manipulations of harmfulness to others predicted moral anger better than moral disgust, while manipulations of taboo predicted disgust better. The presumption of harm was found on measures of symbolic rather than actual harm when a choice existed. These studies clarify our understanding of the relationship between emotions and their justification when people consider victimless, offensive acts.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: anger, disgust, emotions, morality, harm
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology > Social Psychology
Depositing User: Roger Giner-Sorolla
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2013 13:32 UTC
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2017 02:49 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/32967 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
  • Depositors only (login required):

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year