Recent research has found that Americans are disgusted by anonymous members of their political out-group. Determining whether the disgust elicited by political out-group members is more physical or moral may contribute to the understating of what enables its elicitation and regulation. Building on research showing the experience of moral disgust involves relatively abstract construal and the experience of physical disgust involves relatively concrete construal, we predicted that disgust experienced toward political out-group members is more moral than physical. Two preregistered experiments (total N=854) found that (a) the effect of level of construal on the intensity of disgust from political out-group members is more similar to the effect of level of construal on moral disgust than on physical disgust, and (b) the appraisal underlying disgust from political out-group members involves more abstract than concrete construal, similar to moral disgust. We discuss implications of these findings for intergroup relations and emotion regulation.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.
- level of construal
- moral disgust
- physical disgust