Lezing door Joshua Tybur, The Evolution of Disgust

November 2011

28/11/2011: Lezing door Joshua Tybur, The Evolution of Disgust

's Avonds om 17u30, Auditorium A, Blandijnberg 2, Universiteit Gent. Deze lezing is gratis en vrij toegankelijk.

Disgust is commonly viewed as an adaptation for neutralizing infectious disease threats. However, a number of disgust elicitors have no clear connection to infectious disease, including some sexual behaviors (e.g., large age differences between partners; incest), and some moralized violations (e.g., embezzling money from charities). Several theories have been proposed to account for how and why disgust operates so broadly. Here, I propose that “disgust” constitutes three distinct domains that are functionally specialized for neutralizing threats posed by pathogens, costly sexual behaviors, and cooperative interactions. I argue that a nuanced understanding of the evolutionary psychology of disgust can offer fruitful insights into multiple research areas, including how humans navigate the mating market, how people avoid poor social exchange partners and advertise themselves as valuable partners, and how to measure and interpret psychological aspects of pathogen avoidance.