Disgust: Characteristic features, social manifestations, and clinical implications

Bunmi O. Olatunji, Craig N. Sawchuk

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

164 Scopus citations


Emotions have been a long-standing cornerstone of research in social and clinical psychology. Although the systematic examination of emotional processes has yielded a rather comprehensive theoretical and scientific literature, dramatically less empirical attention has been devoted to disgust. In the present article, the nature, experience, and other associated features of disgust are outlined. We also review the domains of disgust and highlight how these domains have expanded over time. The function of disgust in various social constructions, such as cigarette smoking, vegetarianism, and homophobia, is highlighted. Disgust is also becoming increasingly recognized as an influential emotion in the onset, maintenance, and treatment of various phobic states, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and eating disorders. In comparison to the other emotions, disgust offers great promise for future social and clinical research efforts, and prospective studies designed to improve our understanding of disgust are outlined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)932-962
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Social and Clinical Psychology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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