Psychology ETDs


Joshua Tybur

Publication Date



Research on the emotion disgust, and particularly individual differences in disgust sensitivity, has exploded in the past 15 years. However, most of this research has been based on outdated theory and poorly designed instruments. Tybur et al., (2009) suggested that past theoretical perspectives on disgust should best be updated in light of an evolutionary perspective, and measurement of disgust sensitivity should be developed based on an evolutionarily informed theory. After suggesting that disgust should be categorized along domains related to pathogens, sexuality, and morality, they introduced the Three Domain Disgust Scale, a new measure of individual differences in disgust sensitivity. The current set of investigation aimed to advance knowledge of the validity of the Three Domain Disgust Scale. A first study demonstrated that the pathogen, sexual, and moral factors of the Three Domain Disgust Scale relates to Five Factor Model dimensions in a manner consistent with the theory under which the Three Domain Disgust Scale was developed. A second study demonstrated that only sensitivity to sexual disgust relates to political conservativism, but sensitivity to moral disgust relates to disgust reported toward ideologically conflicting ideas and figures within the political realm. A third study demonstrated that the Three Domain Disgust Scale measures three dimensions in both men and women, though the degree to which individual scale items measure these factors varies somewhat between the sexes. Results of these studies are discussed, as is the current state of knowledge of the validity of the Three Domain Disgust Scale, and potentially fruitful future research direction

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Level of Degree


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First Advisor

Miller, Geoffrey

First Committee Member (Chair)

Angela, Bryan

Second Committee Member

Steven, Gangestad

Third Committee Member

Randy, Thornhill




Aversion, Aversion--Social aspects, Aversion--Political aspects.

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