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Bad People Alert: The Expression of Disgust Signals Its Target’s Bad Moral Character

Liu, Daquing and Giner-Sorolla, Roger ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6690-8842 (2024) Bad People Alert: The Expression of Disgust Signals Its Target’s Bad Moral Character. Collabra: Psychology, 10 (1).

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Expressions of moral disgust and anger in social situations signal the target’s moral failure to third-party observers. But little is known about whether the two emotions have different communication functions in sociomoral contexts. Based on the literature about social factors that actually distinguish between anger and disgust, two experiments investigated the inferences people make about the social target of an angry or disgusted expression. Primarily, we tested whether disgusted expressions aimed at a person convey the inference that the person has a bad moral character, more than angry expressions which communicate that the person did a thing with bad consequences. Together, these two experiments shed light on the functional differences between angry and disgusted expressions, as much as they co-occur in everyday life.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/collabra.116193
School/Department: School of Education, Language and Psychology
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/9990

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