Psicothema was founded in Asturias (northern Spain) in 1989, and is published jointly by the Psychology Faculty of the University of Oviedo and the Psychological Association of the Principality of Asturias (Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos del Principado de Asturias).
We currently publish four issues per year, which accounts for some 100 articles annually. We admit work from both the basic and applied research fields, and from all areas of Psychology, all manuscripts being anonymously reviewed prior to publication.

  • Director: Laura E. Gómez Sánchez
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         February | May | August | November
  • ISSN: 0214-9915
  • Digital Edition:: 1886-144X
  • Address: Ildelfonso Sánchez del Río, 4, 1º B
    33001 Oviedo (Spain)
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On the relationships between disgust and morality: A critical review

Antonio Olivera La Rosa and Jaume Rosselló Mir

Universitat de les Illes Balears

Background: Disgust is, at its core, an emotion that responds to cues of parasites and infection, likely to be evolved to protect human organism from the risk of disease. Interestingly, a growing body of research implicates disgust as an emotion central to human morality. The fact that disgust is associated with appraisals of moral transgressions and that this emotion influences moral judgments implies a remarkable puzzle: Why does an emotion that originally functions in the domain of infectious entities become such a good candidate to play the role of a moral arbiter? The aim of the present review is to clarify the nature of the relationship between disgust and morality. Method: First, we examine the relevant features of disgust in order to explore whether the phenomenology of disgust favors its implementation as a defensive mechanism against offensive social entities. Second, we critically review the most striking findings about the effects of disgust on moral judgments. Results: The revisited analysis of the literature strongly suggests a bidirectional causal link between disgust and moral cognition. Conclusions: We propose that the particular phenomenology of disgust (which involves a sense of offensiveness and rejection) favored the co-adaptation of this emotion to the moral domain.

Sobre las relaciones entre repugnancia y moralidad: una revisión crítica. Antecedentes:la repugnancia es, en esencia, una emoción que surge ante la percepción de objetos potencialmente infecciosos, un mecanismo desarrollado para la protección física del organismo. Por otra parte, resulta interesante que diversos estudios sugieran que la repugnancia desempeña un rol fundamental en la moralidad humana. Así, el hecho que esta emoción se asocie a la valoración de transgresiones morales y que, eventualmente, pueda influir sobre los juicios morales resulta intrigante: ¿por qué una emoción relacionada con la protección del organismo contra agentes infecciosos ha extendido su dominio al ámbito moral? Método: en primer lugar, examinamos las características fundamentales de la repugnancia con el objetivo de analizar si su fenomenología intrínseca pudo favorecer el hecho que deviniera un mecanismo de defensa contra los agentes que resultan socialmente ofensivos. En segunda instancia, revisamos los hallazgos más relevantes en la investigación sobre la influencia de la repugnancia en los juicios morales. Resultados: el análisis crítico de la literatura sugiere la existencia de un vínculo causal bidireccional entre la repugnancia y la cognición moral. Conclusiones: sugerimos que la particular fenomenología de la repugnancia (que implica un sentimiento de ofensa y de rechazo) facilitó la co-adaptación de esta emoción al dominio moral.


Impact factor 2022:  JCR WOS 2022:  FI = 3.6 (Q2);  JCI = 1.21 (Q1) / SCOPUS 2022:  SJR = 1.097;  CiteScore = 6.4 (Q1)