Disgust, Harm, and Morality in Politics

Pazit Ben-Nun Bloom*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


This study experimentally tests a theoretical framework for moral judgment in politics, which integrates two research traditions, Domain-Theory and Sentimentalism, to suggest that moral judgment is bidimensional, with one dimension pertaining to harm and the other to moral emotions. Two experiments demonstrate that priming harm associations and the moral emotion of disgust prior to a political issue facilitates moral conviction on the political issue as well as a harsher moral judgment compared to no-prime and to nonmoral emotional and cognitive negative primes (sadness and damage to objects). In addition, harm cues and disgust, but not sadness or damage, interact with the preexisting attitude toward the political issue in affecting moral conviction.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)495-513
Number of pages19
JournalPolitical Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • Disgust
  • Emotions
  • Experiment
  • Harm
  • Morality
  • Political attitudes
  • Priming


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