The level of construal involved in the elicitation of core versus moral disgust.

Tal Moran, Oren Bornstein, Tal Eyal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous research has distinguished between core disgust, elicited by revolting physical objects like spoiled food, and sociomoral disgust, elicited by violations of social norms or moral principles. We suggest that different levels of construal are involved in the elicitation of core disgust and moral disgust. Specifically, we predicted that the elicitation of core disgust involves more concrete than abstract construal, while the elicitation of moral disgust involves more abstract than concrete construal. On that basis, we examined whether changing the level at which the eliciting situation is construed has a different effect on the intensity of core disgust and moral disgust. In Experiment 1, we found that core disgust is associated more with concreteness than abstractness, whereas moral disgust is associated more with abstractness than concreteness. Next, we found that scenarios (Experiment 2) and images (Experiment 3) that elicit core disgust are construed more concretely and less abstractly, while scenarios and images that elicit moral disgust are construed more abstractly and less concretely. In the 2 final experiments we manipulated construal level and found that the elicitation of core disgust depends on concrete construal more than the elicitation of moral disgust (Experiment 4), while the elicitation of moral disgust depends on abstract construal more than the elicitation of core disgust (Experiment 5). These findings suggest that because core disgust and moral disgust differ in the construal level of their elicitors, changing the level at which the eliciting object is construed differently affects the intensity of core disgust and moral disgust.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-404
Number of pages14
JournalEmotion
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • appraisals
  • construal level
  • core disgust
  • moral disgust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (all)

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