Social justifications for moral emotions: When reasons for disgust are less elaborated than for anger

Russell, Pascale S. and Giner-Sorolla, Roger (2011) Social justifications for moral emotions: When reasons for disgust are less elaborated than for anger. Emotion, 11 (3). pp. 637-646. ISSN 1528-3542. (doi:https://doi.org/10.1037/a0022600) (Full text available)

Abstract

In the present research we test the unreasoning disgust hypothesis: moral disgust, in particular in response to a violation of a bodily norm, is less likely than moral anger to be justified with cognitively elaborated reasons. In experiment 1, participants were asked to explain why they felt anger and disgust toward pedophiles. Participants were more likely to invoke elaborated reasons, versus merely evaluative responses, when explaining their anger, versus disgust. Experiment 2 used a between-participants design; participants explained why they felt either anger or disgust toward seven groups that either violated a sexual or non-sexual norm. Again, elaborated reasons were less prevalent when explaining their disgust versus anger, and in particular when explaining disgust toward a group that violated a sexual norm. Experiment 3 further established that these findings are due to a lower accessibility of elaborated reasons for bodily disgust, rather than inhibition in using them when provided. From these findings it can be concluded that communicating external reasons for moral disgust at bodily violations is made more difficult due to the unavailability of those reasons to people.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Anger, Disgust, Moral emotions, Reasons, adult, anger, article, cognition, decision making, emotion, female, human, human experiment, human rights abuse, male, morality, normal human, sexual behavior, social aspect, Adolescent, Adult, Anger, Emotions, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Morals, Pedophilia, Social Perception, Social Values, Young Adult
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 13:40 UTC
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2017 13:14 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/32968 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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