Disgust propensity has a causal link to the stigmatization of people with cancer

Azlan, Haffiezhah A. and Overton, Paul G. and Simpson, Jane and Powell, Philip A. (2020) Disgust propensity has a causal link to the stigmatization of people with cancer. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 43. pp. 377-390. ISSN 0160-7715

Text (Azlanetal2019 Author's Accepted Copy)
Azlanetal2019_Author_s_Accepted_Copy.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial.

Download (570kB)


Disgust-driven stigma may be motivated by an assumption that a stigmatized target presents a disease threat, even in the absence of objective proof. Accordingly, even non-contagious diseases, such as cancer, can become stigmatized by eliciting disgust. This study had two parts: a survey (n = 272), assessing the association between disgust traits and cancer stigma; and an experiment, in which participants were exposed to a cancer surgery (n = 73) or neutral video (n = 68), in order to test a causal mechanism for the abovementioned association. Having a higher proneness to disgust was associated with an increased tendency to stigmatize people with cancer. Further, a significant causal pathway was observed between disgust propensity and awkwardness- and avoidance-based cancer stigma via elevated disgust following cancer surgery exposure. In contrast, those exposed to cancer surgery not experiencing elevated disgust reported less stigma than controls. Exposure-based interventions, which do not elicit disgust, may be profitable in reducing cancer stigma.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Additional Information:
The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10865-019-00130-4
Uncontrolled Keywords:
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
06 Jan 2020 15:35
Last Modified:
17 Sep 2023 02:44