Developing a Sensitivity to Disgust Measure (SDM)

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Gordon, Ellen R.
Holtz, Rolf F.
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Thesis (M.A.)
Department of Psychological Science
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Disgust is a primary emotion relevant to both clinical and social psychology. However, the current most popular disgust measure has serious psychometric weaknesses (Haidt, McCauley, & Rozin, 1994). Furthermore, no extant measure assesses moral disgust as an emotional response to moral transgressions. The purpose of the present research is to develop a new measure, the Sensitivity to Disgust Measure (SDM). Data from 598 participants ranging in age from 21 to 83 years shows that the SDM measures disgust responses to stimuli from five elicitor domains: body products, body envelope violations and death, animals, sex, and moral transgressions. The alpha coefficient for the total scale is .90; and the coefficients for the subscales range from .78 to .87. Criterion-related validity analyses show that SDM scores predict responses to the Haidt et al.'s (1994) Disgust Scale, the Contamination Subscale of the Padua Inventory, the PANAS, and the Neuroticism, Agreeableness, and Openness subscales of the Big Five Model.