The Effects of Mortality Salience on Disgust Sensitivity Among University Students, Older Adults, and Mortuary Students
RESEARCH ARTICLE

The Effects of Mortality Salience on Disgust Sensitivity Among University Students, Older Adults, and Mortuary Students

The Open Psychology Journal 09 Jan 2010 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874350101003010001

Abstract

The present study tested the Terror Management perspective on disgust by examining the effects of mortality salience on disgust sensitivity among 137 university students, 48 older adults, and 44 mortuary students preparing for a career in the funeral service industry. Participants were randomly assigned to a mortality salience, uncertainty salience, or television salience induction. Following a delay, participants completed the core disgust and contamination disgust subscales of the Disgust Scale Revised. University students reported more core disgust than did older adults and mortuary students. Women reported more core and contamination disgust than did men. Mortality salience led to increased disgust sensitivity among all three groups but only on a small number of items related to animals. The results suggest a limited role of terror management defenses in the experience of disgust in response to stimuli that remind people of their animal nature.

Keywords: Terror Management Theory, Disgust Sensitivity, Mortality Salience.