Research Paper: Morality and Disgust

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Morality Disgust

Disgust and Moral Judgments

This research study examined levels of morality and disgust in a series of paired photographs. Pairs of individuals with different moral cues were presented to subjects via computerized surveys and rated for perceived morality; the five highest and lowest rated pictures were then paired with control pictures and second population of respondents were asked to assess whom they would prefer sharing a toothbrush with. The results indicate that perceptions of morality have a strong correlation with perceptions of physical cleanliness and reactions of physical disgust. Implications in light of contemporary research are examined.

Human judgments of each other are known to be highly subjective, nearly instantaneous, and largely involuntary. A variety of factors, including previous experience in combination with certain chemical and nervous reactions to the sight or presence of another person, lead to various perceptions or conclusions being drawn often without the individual being fully conscious or aware of the judgments he or she is making. Cultural influences also have a large impact on these judgments, with certain styles of dress, occupational cues, and other visual elements of a person's appearance affecting the manner in which they are first judged perhaps more than anything else. Understanding exactly what information goes into these judgments has formed a somewhat controversial yet highly fascinating area of research, with a number of studies providing further clues into the complexities of human interaction.

This research set out to measure the levels of moral judgments and, to some degree, the manner in which these judgments are made, based on images of certain individuals. Specifically, the link between levels of physical disgust and morality in reactions to a series of paired photographs were assessed, and the results examined to determine which of the specifically identified factors examined contributed to these judgments. Coming to new understandings regarding the way human judgment works and how individuals are perceived and interacted with by others can lead to directly practical recommendations for individuals dealing with a variety of personal and professional situations, and also creates more detailed and solid academic knowledge related to the psychology of perception and judgment.

Methodology

The methodology of this study employed fairly straightforward survey techniques in order to achieve its results. Two different populations were utilized in the study; both were predominantly female (75.23% and 68.47%, respectively) yet contained significant male populations. Gender was not studied as a correlative factor in this study, but the population mix was still desired in order to achieve greater validity and generalizability of the results. Both populations were instructed to complete the computerized survey in private, and anonymity of responses and results was guaranteed throughout the study and was ensured through the privacy and computerization of the surveys themselves. A total of 220 subjects participated in the study, in one study population of 109 and one population of 111.

The first population of 109 individuals (27 males and 82 females) completed moral judgments of individuals presented in paired pictures. Each pair consisted of either two males or two females, one of which was identified as the target picture with culturally identifiable markings of certain professions thought to have an impact on perceptions of… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Morality and Disgust.  (2011, October 18).  Retrieved September 17, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/morality-disgust/18071

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"Morality and Disgust."  18 October 2011.  Web.  17 September 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/morality-disgust/18071>.

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"Morality and Disgust."  Essaytown.com.  October 18, 2011.  Accessed September 17, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/morality-disgust/18071.