Infectious disease has many faces: Are they all the same?

Date created: | Last Updated:

: DOI | ARK

Creating DOI. Please wait...

Create DOI

Category: Communication

Description: How can people tell whether someone has an infectious illness? Behavioral Immune System research suggests people rely on physically anomalous cues perceivable in others (e.g., facial disfigurement, obesity) to assess pathogenic infection risk from interpersonal contact. Such cues are thought to superficially resemble true markers of infectious disease. But do perceivers equally associate features such as disfigurement and obesity with infection? In Study 1, participants completed an Implicit Association Test (IAT) in which they categorized words as either Harmless (e.g., typewriter) or Infectious (e.g., bacteria) and faces as either (a) Average or Obese, or (b) Average or Disfigured. In both conditions, participants showed automatic associations between Infectious concepts and anomalous, benign cues; however, participants showed stronger associations between Infectious concepts and Disfigured faces compared to Obese faces. In Study 2, participants completed the same IAT except they categorized faces as either Obese or Disfigured. As in Study 1, participants showed stronger associations between Infectious concepts and Disfigured faces compared to Obese faces. Unlike in Study 1, participants showed weaker associations between Obese faces and Infectious concepts compared to Harmless concepts. In Studies 3A and 3B, Disfigured was replaced with Burn Scar (3A) or Infectious was replaced with Lazy (3B) to test alternative explanations regarding misinterpreting Disfigured stimuli (3A) and general negative associations (3B). Participants still associated the Disfigured faces (described as benign Burn Scars) more strongly with Infectious concepts compared to Obese faces, but, when the negative word was Lazy instead of Infectious, participants more strongly associated Obese faces with the more negative word category. Taken together, these data suggest people mentally associate some anomalous facial features more strongly with Infectious concepts than others.

License: CC-By Attribution 4.0 International

Wiki

HBES 2018 Abstract (Talk) How can people tell whether someone has an infectious illness? Behavioral Immune System research suggests people rely on physically anomalous cues perceivable in others (e.g., facial disfigurement, obesity) to assess pathogenic infection risk from interpersonal contact. Such cues are thought to superficially resemble true markers of infectious disease. But do perceivers e...

Files

Loading files...

Citation

Tags

Recent Activity

Loading logs...

This website relies on cookies to help provide a better user experience. By clicking Accept or continuing to use the site, you agree. For more information, see our Privacy Policy and information on cookie use.
Accept
×

Start managing your projects on the OSF today.

Free and easy to use, the Open Science Framework supports the entire research lifecycle: planning, execution, reporting, archiving, and discovery.

Create an Account Learn More Hide this message