Monday, December 1, 2014

Thought Provoking

via The Silicon Graybeard:

I found the last sentence particularly interesting, so I bolded it:

"As an emotion, disgust is designed as a protection," said Vikas Mittal, the J. Hugh Liedtke Professor of Marketing at Rice's Jones Graduate School of Business. "When people feel disgusted, they tend to remove themselves from a situation. The instinct is to protect oneself. People become focused on 'self' and they're less likely to think about other people. Small cheating starts to occur: If I'm disgusted and more focused on myself and I need to lie a little bit to gain a small advantage, I'll do that. That's the underlying mechanism."

In turn, the researchers found that cleansing behaviors actually mitigate the self-serving effects of disgust. "If you can create conditions where people's disgust is mitigated, you should not see this (unethical) effect," Mittal said. "One way to mitigate disgust is to make people think about something clean. If you can make people think of cleaning products - for example, Kleenex or Windex - the emotion of disgust is mitigated, so the likelihood of cheating also goes away. People don't know it, but these small emotions are constantly affecting them."

Life is made of small emotions. Tend them lovingly as you would a garden, and you will grow flowers instead of weeds.


  1. People tend to dismiss things that are only "a little bad" and assume they're not affected by them.

    This study shows that little doses of darkness aren't harmless.

  2. Pretty sure you told me that once. I'm just proving you right.