Predicting contamination aversion using implicit and explicit measures of disgust and threat overestimation

Melissa Rouel*, Richard J. Stevenson, Evelyn Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Explicit measures of disgust and threat overestimation have consistently been found to be involved in contamination aversion. However, evidence of the involvement of these factors at the implicit level is mixed, and the role of both responses has not been looked at concurrently. This study aimed to compare the ability of implicit and explicit measures of disgust and threat overestimation to predict contamination aversion and whether this depends on the type of contaminant. Sixty-five participants completed explicit and implicit measures of disgust and threat overestimation, as well as several measures of contamination aversion, including obsessive-compulsive tendencies, and contamination fear and avoidance of contaminants directly associated with disease (direct contaminants) and harmful substances (harm contaminants). It was found that both explicit disgust and explicit threat overestimation predicted contamination-fear obsessive-compulsive tendencies. Explicit disgust predicted contamination fear and avoidance of direct contaminants, whereas explicit threat overestimation predicted contamination fear and avoidance of harm contaminants. The involvement of implicit processes was weak, with some suggestion of difficulty disengaging predicting avoidance of contaminants. Implications for understanding dysfunctional contamination aversion are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-38
Number of pages17
JournalBehaviour Change
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018

Keywords

  • contamination aversion
  • disgust
  • threat overestimation
  • implicit processes
  • OCD

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Predicting contamination aversion using implicit and explicit measures of disgust and threat overestimation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this