What do we know about disgust sensitivity? Some recent developments and future directions.
Given the widespread application of disgust sensitivity instruments to research in social, personality, political, and clinical psychology, psychologists know surprisingly little about why variability in disgust sensitivity exists and how it emerges. In this talk, I will provide an overview of some candidate explanations for variation in disgust sensitivity, and I will present two recent studies that can adjudicate between these explanations. The first study examined the heritability of disgust sensitivity in a sample of over 1000 Finish twins. The second study tested how disgust sensitivity varies across cultures in a sample of over 11,500 participants across 30 nations. Results speak against some accounts of variation in disgust sensitivity, and they can be used as a starting point to hone in on how we understand variability in pathogen avoidance motivations.