Slime-bags, brownnosers and other creeps

Moral disgust as an interpersonal avoidance system

Andrew Jones*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In the following chapter I present ideas and findings relevant to the notion of moral disgust (disgust felt towards moral transgressors). I begin by describing the nature and possible origins of moral disgust. I then detail two research programs. The first concerns the association between individual differences in proneness to experience disgust and what I term moral hypervigilance-that is, a range of cognitive, emotional and behavioural biases that reflect a disposition to view those suspected of moral transgressions as being guilty of those transgressions. The second body of research relates to the question of whether specific classes of moral offenders are especially disgust provoking. I present evidence that moral disgust is particularly attuned to two offender groups: 1) impostors (offenders who employ deceit); and 2) abusers (offenders who victimise those weaker than themselves).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPersonality Down Under
Subtitle of host publicationPerspectives from Australia
EditorsSimon Boag
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherNova Science Publishers
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781608763092, 1608763099
ISBN (Print)9781604567946, 1604567945
Publication statusPublished - 2008


Cite this

Jones, A. (2008). Slime-bags, brownnosers and other creeps: Moral disgust as an interpersonal avoidance system. In S. Boag (Ed.), Personality Down Under: Perspectives from Australia (pp. 243-252). New York: Nova Science Publishers.