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Déterminants et conséquences du dégoût physique et moral : du jugement stéréotypé à la déshumanisation

Abstract : Disgust is at the heart of our individual and collective life. As disgust may operate both as a “Guardian” of the body and the soul, theories of disgust usually distinguish between physical and moral disgust. In a first study we explored the characteristics of these two types of disgust by content-analyzing participants’ narrations of past emotional experiences. A thematic content analysis and a lexical analysis (using the ALCESTE software) show that physical disgust most often refers to direct sensory and perceptual experiences that are recalled and described from the “actor” perspective. Moral disgust, on the other hand, is a more complex emotion that is often mixed with the feeling of anger and sadness. It is less immediate because it implies the evaluation of someone’s behavior as unfair or morally blameworthy (e.g. betrayal). The second aim of this thesis was to examine the consequences of physical and moral disgust on the stereotypical perception and dehumanization of others (Dasgupta et al., 2009; Harris & Fiske, 2006; Tiedens & Linton, 2001). Two studies (Studies 2 and 3) show that the compatibility between incidental disgust (i.e. disgust that is unrelated to the target of the judgment) and chronic integral disgust (i.e. disgust aroused by the target’s group membership) leads individuals to rely more on stereotypes in their judgment. Moreover, study 3 suggests that it may be necessary to consider also episodic integral disgust (i.e. disgust aroused by the target’s behavior; Bodenhausen, 1993). In a fourth study, we therefore examined the impact of the compatibility between chronic and episodic integral disgust on stereotyping. Our results show that compatibility leads to a greater stereotypical perception of targets, especially those belonging to a protected social group (i.e. obese persons). Finally, this last study reveals that individuals tend to dehumanize “disgusting” others and that feeling sympathy towards others is important in the process of “re-humanization”. This thesis underlines the key role of integral emotions on social perception and the necessity of studying disgust and its effects in order to understand and to fight social exclusion
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Audrey Abitan. Déterminants et conséquences du dégoût physique et moral : du jugement stéréotypé à la déshumanisation. Psychologie. Université René Descartes - Paris V, 2012. Français. ⟨NNT : 2012PA05H110⟩. ⟨tel-00793399⟩

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