Send to

Choose Destination
Emotion. 2011 Apr;11(2):233-40. doi: 10.1037/a0022598.

Moral anger, but not moral disgust, responds to intentionality.

Author information

School of Psychology, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK.


We propose that, when people judge moral situations, anger responds to the contextual cues of harm and intentionality. On the other hand, disgust responds uniquely to whether or not a bodily norm violation has occurred; its apparent response to harm and intent is entirely explained by the coactivation of anger. We manipulated intent, harm, and bodily norm violation (eating human flesh) within a vignette describing a scientific experiment. Participants then rated their anger, disgust, and moral judgment, as well as various appraisals. Anger responded independently of disgust to harm and intentionality, whereas disgust responded independently of anger only to whether or not the act violated the bodily norm of cannibalism. Theoretically relevant appraisals accounted for the effects of harm and intent on anger; however, appraisals of abnormality did not fully account for the effects of the manipulations on disgust. Our results show that anger and disgust are separately elicited by different cues in a moral situation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Psychological Association
Loading ...
Support Center