A Neurophysiological Approach to Differentiate Core Disgust and Moral Disgust
Golden, Lauren Leigh
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The association between core disgust and moral disgust has been a particularly contentious issue within the emotion literature. Preliminary neurophysiological evidence appeared to support a hybrid theory of the relation between core disgust and moral disgust, suggesting reactivity to bodily moral disgust stimuli is similar to core disgust reaction patterns and reactivity to non-bodily moral disgust stimuli is similar to that of anger. The aim of this project was to test this theory. In Study 1, participants viewed and rated emotion video clips to ensure the video clips shown in Study 2 elicited the intended emotions. In Study 2, the selected video clips were shown while EEG and ECG data were collected. It was hypothesized that there would be similar cerebral asymmetry, heart rate, and heart rate variability patterns between contamination-related core disgust and bodily moral disgust and between anger and non-bodily moral disgust. Although the results of this study did not fully support these hypotheses, preliminary evidence was found to support the hybrid theory of disgust. Based on the participant ratings and observed frontal asymmetry scores, similarities were found amongst contamination-related core disgust and bodily moral disgust and with non-bodily moral disgust and anger. These results warrant further investigation into the disgust construct in order to continue to explore the validity of the hybrid theory of disgust.
- Doctoral Dissertations