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14 October 2014
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Psychology tests

Results

Thank you for completing the disgust questionnaire. This experiment was designed to test the theory that disgust evolved to protect us from disease.

The more something resembles a disease threat, the more disgusting it should be.

Questions 1 to 19

Read on to compare your results against our predictions. Each image has a coloured border indicating a disgust level of 1 to 5. Use the coloured scale below as a key to guide you.


1
2
3
4
5
Not Disgusted Very Disgusted

General

Valerie's Predictions
Question 2
1
Question 3
1
Question 4
5
Football Cat Eggs on teeth
? ? ?
Your ratings

Question 2

It may be a bit mucky, but we've never heard of anyone catching a disease from a football. Therefore, this scores low in our predictions.

Question 3

Although there's nothing to suggest this cat has a disease, any animal can carry one. Which may explain why most of us keep at a healthy distance from our pets, however cute they might be.

Question 4

The gums infected with maggots pose a clear disease threat. We're guessing you wouldn't want to share a can of beer with this man.

Chemical versus organic

Valerie's Predictions
Question 19
1
Question 5
2
Question 17
5
Question 10
5
Question 7
4
Towel with blue stains Plate of blue slime Plate of green slime Towel with yellow stains (bodily fluids) Plate of yellow slime
? ? ? ? ?
Your ratings

Colours that suggest disease threats should make us disgusted. Colours that are not found in nature should cause no reaction.

Question 19

Blue rarely occurs in nature. We have no reason to find it disgusting because it was never associated with disease threats in our evolutionary past. You might want to pop this towel in the washing machine, but it's unlikely to give you nightmares.

Question 5

This plate of blue slime might not look fit to eat, but it's unlikely to harbour any harmful bugs.

Question 17

Green slimy substances make us think of snot. Mucus can harbour dangerous bacteria and viruses and we produce more of it when we are ill. We think the thought of eating this might make you a touch queasy.

Question 10

Yellow is the colour of pus, a substance that is produced from infected wounds. Pus consists of tissue debris, white blood cells and bacteria - many of which may still be alive. Yellow and red suggests the products of a diseased wound - a clear disease threat. Fancy drying yourself with this towel? Didn't think so.

Question 7

This looks like something that belongs in a surgical waste bin at your local hospital, not on your dinner plate. If you've lost your appetite, we sincerely sympathise.

Ouch

Valerie's Predictions
Question 8
3
Question 14
5
Clean wound Infected wound
? ?
Your ratings

Question 8

A painful burn caused by scalding water. You may not like the idea of touching it, but forced to make the choice, we guess you'd opt for this one over question 14.

Question 14

This image shows a serious post-operative infection following colostomy surgery. The yellow and black regions of the wound tell you this unfortunate person has some way to go before they are on the mend. Photo courtesy of Dr Adrian Bint.

Creepy crawlies

Valerie's Predictions
Question 13
2
Question 1
1
Question 9
4
Question 12
5
Caterpillars in a petri-dish Wasp Louse Parasitic worms in a petri-dish
? ? ? ?
Your ratings

Question 13

Caterpillars don't want to burrow inside you, live in your gut or suck your blood. They just want to be butterflies when they grow up. Photo courtesy of Professor Peter Bryant.

Question 1

Wasps may give you a nasty sting, but they won't give you a disease. They're actually quite beautiful in close-up.

Question 9

There's a reason why this little fella has hooks at the end of his arms. He sticks them in your skin and holds on while he sucks your blood. Introducing Pediculus humanus, the human body louse. He's a parasite and you should steer well clear. Courtesy of CDC.

Question 12

You may not like him, but the parasitic worm Ascaris lumbricoides likes you so much he wants to live in your intestines. Those stir fry noodles you were cooking for dinner suddenly don't seem so appealing, do they?. Photo courtesy of Dr James McGoldrick, Glasgow University.

Humans

Valerie's Predictions
Question 15
1
Question 11
1
Question 16
3
Question 6
3
Question 18
4
Empty Train Clean tidy, well groomed face Spotty Face Crowded train, sweaty armpits Face - spotty, runny nose, uncombed hair, sweaty
? ? ? ?
Your ratings

Question 15

If only more tube carriages looked like this. All that space to yourself and no one to pass on their nasty cough bug to you.

Question 11

What a handsome chap. Not a hint of disease here.

Question 16

Spots are yucky and in grown men they signal poor health and disease.

Question 6

So many people, so little space. No one likes to be sneezed on or have a sweaty armpit shoved in their face. As this lot disperse their germs into the air, you breath them in. It's a far cry from the wide open spaces of the savannah, where you could give strangers, and their diseases, a wide berth.

Question 18

Spotty, sweaty and snotty. Not the way to turn up to a first date. You're disgusted and you've got good reason to be. He looks feverish and, at this distance, he can give you what he's got.



Question 20 - Don't forget your toothbrush

We asked you to say whose toothbrush you would be most disgusted using. This question relates to sharing germs. We already share many germs with our close family, and we suspend disgust with our partners because we need to procreate.

But a complete stranger may bring you a new disease that you have no immunity to. Therefore, the closer your relationship to someone, the less disgusted you are likely to be using their toothbrush.








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