The role of disgust proneness and contamination-related thought-action fusion in mental contamination-related washing urges

Abstract

Previous studies associated disgust proneness and thought-action fusion with mental contamination. The present study aims to investigate the associations among disgust propensity, disgust sensitivity, contamination-related thought-action fusion, mental contamination, and related factors, including internal/external negative emotions and washing urges. One hundred eighty female participants filled out the questionnaires assessing disgust proneness and contamination-related thought-action fusion and rated their baseline feeling of dirtiness and negative emotions. They listened to an audiotape instructing them to conceive themselves being subject to a nonconsensual kiss attempt by a male and rated their mental contamination, negative emotions, and the urge to wash levels. The path analysis indicated that disgust propensity and contamination-related thought-action fusion were significantly associated with disgust sensitivity. Their association with the urge to wash was positively mediated by mental contamination and negative emotions. This is the first study examining the above-mentioned cognitive and affective factors in a mediation model using a non-Western population. Our findings are crucial for understanding mental contamination and washing behavior.

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Data Availability

The datasets generated and analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

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Authors

Contributions

Mujgan Inozu conceptualized the study. Ilgun Bilekli Bilger and Ezgi Trak collected the data. Mujgan Inozu and Ilgun Bilekli Bilger conducted the analysis. All authors contributed to the writing of the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mujgan Inozu.

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The authors have no relevant financial or non-financial interests to disclose.

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Not applicable.

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This study was performed in line with the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki. Approval was granted by the Ethics Committee of Hacettepe University, ref. number 35853172/ 431–1639.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Inozu, M., Bilekli Bilger, I. & Trak, E. The role of disgust proneness and contamination-related thought-action fusion in mental contamination-related washing urges. Curr Psychol (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-021-01401-7

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Keywords

  • Contamination fear
  • Mental contamination
  • Disgust propensity
  • Disgust sensitivity
  • Contamination thought-action fusion
  • Negative emotions
  • Urge to wash