This article provides norms for general taboo, personal taboo, insult, valence, and arousal for 672 Dutch words, including 202 taboo words. Norms were collected using a 7-point Likert scale and based on ratings by psychology students from the Erasmus University Rotterdam in The Netherlands. The sample consisted of 87 psychology students (58 females, 29 males). We obtained high reliability based on split-half analyses. Our norms show high correlations with arousal and valence ratings collected by another Dutch word-norms study (Moors et al.,, Behavior Research Methods, 45, 169–177, 2013). Our results show that the previously found quadratic relation (i.e., U-shaped pattern) between valence and arousal also holds when only taboo words are considered. Additionally, words rated high on taboo tended to be rated low on valence, but some words related to sex rated high on both taboo and valence. Words that rated high on taboo rated high on insult, again with the exception of words related to sex many of which rated low on insult. Finally, words rated high on taboo and insult rated high on arousal. The Dutch Taboo Norms (DTN) database is a useful tool for researchers interested in the effects of taboo words on cognitive processing. The data associated with this paper can be accessed via the Open Science Framework (

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Keywords Arousal ratings, Emotion, Lexical norms, Taboo ratings, Valence ratings
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Journal Behavior Research Methods (Print)
Roest, S.A, Visser, T.A, & Zeelenberg, R. (2017). Dutch taboo norms. Behavior Research Methods (Print), 1–12. doi:10.3758/s13428-017-0890-x