Is it disgusting to be reminded that you are an animal?

Cognition and Emotion 31 (7):1318-1332 (2017)
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Six studies tested the hypothesis that being reminded of our animal nature makes us feel disgust. Participants from three cultural groups indicated the intensity of their disgust reactions to pleasant and unpleasant animal reminder stories and pictures as well as to a statement directly reminding them of their animal nature. Findings did not support the hypothesis: Pleasant animal reminders reminded respondents of their animal nature, but were not disgusting. The direct reminder of our animal nature was not disgusting. There was no significant correlation between disgust and being reminded of animal nature for disgusting animal reminders. Thus, some disgusting events remind us of our animal nature, but they are not disgusting because they remind us of our animal nature. Animal reminders per se are not disgusting.



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