Pathogen disgust predicts stigmatization of individuals with mental health conditions
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Description: Avoidance of individuals displaying cues of infectious illnesses and stigmatization of other types of individual have both been hypothesized to reflect disease avoidance. However, direct empirical tests of this hypothesis have been somewhat rare. Consequently, we tested for possible relationships between subscales of the Three Domain Disgust Scale and stigmatization of individuals with one of three mental health conditions (schizophrenia, skin picking disorder, or sexual sadism disorder) in a sample of 117 participants. Scores on the pathogen disgust subscale of the Three Domain Disgust Scale were positively correlated with stigmatization of each of the three mental health conditions tested. By contrast, scores on the sexual and moral disgust subscales of the Three Domain Disgust Scale were not significantly related to stigmatization of any of the mental health conditions tested. These results implicate disease avoidance in stigmatization of individuals with mental health conditions.