Disgust propensity and disgust sensitivity: separate constructs that are differentially related to specific fears.

M. van Overveld*, P.J. de Jong, M.L. Peters, K. Cavanagh, G.C.L. Davey

*Corresponding author for this work

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Studies concentrating on interindividual differences in experiencing disgust have indicated that disgust propensity is associated with certain disorders, such as fear of blood and fear of spiders (de jong & merckelbach, 1998). However, current indices of disgust propensity suffer from conceptual overlap with other measures of psychopathology.moreover, in addition to high levels of disgust propensity, a relatively negative appreciation of experiencing the emotion of disgust (disgust sensitivity) may also be critically involved in psychopathology. To address these issues, the disgust propensity and sensitivity scale (dpss) was devised (cavanagh & davey, 2000). This study examined its psychometric qualities. Students (n = 967) completed the dpss, the disgust questionnaire (dq), the disgust scale (ds), the blood-injury phobia questionnaire (biq), and the fear of spiders questionnaire (fsq). The dpss meaningfully differentiated between disgust propensity and sensitivity. These factors were differentially related to blood and spider fear. The present findings sustain the importance of differentiating between individual differences in disgust propensity and sensitivity as factors that may be independently involved in psychopathology. The dpss appears a valuable addition to the arsenal of indices presently available in disgust research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1241-1252
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006

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