See, there's a grab bag of other things from various other published studies out there that elicit disgust. One study of the role of emotions in attitudes toward various social groups found that disgust was predicted by two things. One is kind of obvious: the perception that a group threatens physical health (so, HIV patients, for example). The other is less obvious: the perception that a group threatens important values (gay men score high on this as well as, via the HIV perception, the disease kind of threat).
And then there's esthetic disgust, or I guess esthetic-moral disgust. This is not the esthetic disgust from a painting of rotting meat, but the disgust that comes from seeing something as "contaminating" a moralized esthetic category. And what sets apart a moralized esthetic category from the usual kind? Fortunately, Zak has just drawn a cartoon that explains this very point.
It's the disgust face that fans of black doom grindcore metal make when confronted with symphonic black doom grindcore. It's the disgust face that fans of the game with clerics and no thieves make when they come across the game with thieves and no clerics.
|The second most subdivided form of entertainment there is.|
After all, it's hard to articulate why freedom is good or why your country is or why the greatest band in the world is that way or why exactly men get circumcised in your culture. There's always some after-the-fact reason like "it's just good" or "it's more healthy." But the truth is, you probably learned all these things as a primary, Pavlovian link between whatever it is - the flag, the band, the physically weird - and the concept of "good" or "bad." And you probably prefer to associate with people who share the same associations.
This is why, in our studies, people specifically have a hard time explaining their disgust at sexual transgressions, apart from self-referential concepts like "it's just disgusting" or "they're just evil." Other studies show that people also have a hard time explaining why their core values, like freedom, equality or tradition, should be followed.
Extending this to all kinds of values, it then stands to reason that you're less likely to be disgusted with someone who who agrees with you that racial equality is good, but thinks that school vouchers (or whatever solution you prefer) are not the way to get there; you're likely to feel anger, because that person is at least in your community and just being frustrating. But if the person comes out and says that racial equality is not a highly valuable thing, not even good - they're an outright racist - that's more likely to feel disgusting. That person has shown themselves to be outside your true community.
|Would you rather people play XBox?|
All this is because the disgust reaction forms the boundary of the community. (I don't set these posts up, I swear...) So I won't give suggestions for working today's lesson into your game, because really, it applies more to your life as a gamer.