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t r u t h o u t | Joe Brewer | Why You Should Care About the Psychology of Disgust

Are you someone who struggles to understand why people behave the way they do in politics? Perhaps you've been confused by all the fervor against gay marriage. Or maybe you're taken aback by the strong emotions waged against government-sponsored health care.

To understand political behaviors like these, you'll need to become familiar with the psychology of disgust. Researchers have learned a lot about it in recent years, such as:

  • Disgust – like all emotions – is biological and can be explained through the workings of the brain;
  • Disgust is the physiological foundation for moral notions of purity and sacrilege;
  • Disgust, once felt, creates a persistent association that is very difficult to get rid of;
  • Disgust is a powerful motivator of behavior, helping deter us away from perceived threats to our health.

So what does this have to do with politics? In a word, everything.


Cathie's notes: Very interesting article and links. Here is a related article from Joe in April: Why You Need to Understand Political Psychology. Good links in this one too.