Disgust, Anxiety Disorders and

Disgust is said to have evolved as a protective mechanism against the ingestion of contaminants, is one of the universally recognized emotions across cultures, and is associated with unique psychophysiological responses (namely, muscle tension in the upper lip and nostrils and lowered respiration and blood pressure). The accumulated research suggests that there are several classes of elicitors of disgust: food, body products, body envelope violations (i.e., observing exposed organs), sex, animals or insects, and death. In addition to these elicitors, neutral objects can take on disgust properties through a process referred to as sympathetic magic. This process involves two laws: (1) contagion and (2) similarity. The law of contagion holds that if a disgust elicitor comes in contact, even momentarily, with a neutral object, the ...

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