A plate of food overrun by roaches. A blood-encrusted scab. The squish of dog poo under one’s shoe. In this talk from TEDxEast, David Pizarro explains that each of these images elicits disgust, a visceral emotion that serves a good purpose — to keep us away from harmful substances. But disgust may in fact do much […]Continue reading
Why you should listen
It's common knowledge that our emotions can have a strong effect on our behavior and judgment. But why would an emotion like disgust, evolutionarily developed to protect us from poisons and other dangerous substances, have any influence on our political leanings today? David Pizarro, associate professor at Cornell University, is studying this surprising phenomenon: Sensitivity to disgusting sensations (like a photo of feces, or being reminded that germs are everywhere) correlates to moral and political conservatism. In his studies he has demonstrated that exposing people to an unpleasant odor can increase negative feelings toward homosexual men.