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Anxiety and disgust: evidence for a unidirectional relationship

journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-07, 17:52 authored by Sarah Marziller, Graham Davey
This paper reports the results of three studies using mood induction procedures (MIPs) designed to investigate the relationship between anxiety and disgust. Study 1 used guided imagery vignettes (i.e., asking participants to imagine themselves in a series of described situations) and music (Mayer, Allen, & Beauregard, 1995). Study 2 used video clips (Gross & Levenson, 1995). Study 3 used autobiographical recall and music (Blagden & Craske, 1996). In order to be as sure as possible that target moods were being induced, and that manipulation checks provided good evidence of mood induction, Studies 1 and 2 measured six moods (anxiety, sadness, happiness, anger, disgust, and contempt) on visual analogue scales. In addition, Study 3 included two further mood measures: a 30-adjective rating scale measuring 10 emotions, the Differential Emotion Scale (DES; Izard, 1972) and a free label questionnaire, allowing participants to record how they feel without any prior imposed structure. Results from all three studies demonstrated that induced anxiety will produce increases in reported disgust, but there was no evidence for an effect of induced disgust on reported anxiety. These findings were independent of the type of MIP (guided imagery vignette and music, video clips, and autobiographical recall and music), and the type of dependent mood measure used (visual analogue scale, differential emotion scale or a free label questionnaire). The findings have important implications for the putative role of disgust in anxious psychopathologies, and suggest that if disgust does have a causal influence in some anxious psychopathologies, this influence is not mediated simply by experienced disgust facilitating experienced anxiety.


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  • Published


Cognition and Emotion







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  • Psychology Publications

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