Background and objectives: Disgust is a basic emotion that is thought to play a role in the development of animal phobias. This study was conducted to test whether experimentally induced disgust also results in higher levels of fear and interpretation bias. Methods: Children aged 9-13 years (N = 94) were asked to inspect a set of specimen characteristic of a novel animal and requested to form themselves an impression of it based on those characteristics. Half of the children were given a set of disgust-eliciting products in relation to the animal, whereas the other half received a set of neutral materials. Results: The main results indicated that children in the disgust specimen group exhibited an increase in fear towards the novel animal and a stronger inclination to interpret ambiguous situations involving this animal in a more negative way as compared to children in the neutral specimen group. Conclusion: These findings confirm that disgust has a fear-promoting effect.

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doi.org/10.1016/j.jbtep.2011.10.002, hdl.handle.net/1765/63492
Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry: a journal of experimental psychopathology
Department of Psychology

Muris, P.E.H.M, Huijding, J, Mayer, B.N, & de Vries, H. (2012). Does 'Yuck' mean 'Eek'? Fear responses in children after a disgust manipulation. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry: a journal of experimental psychopathology, 43(2), 765–769. doi:10.1016/j.jbtep.2011.10.002