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Disgust Responses according to age

Posted by dianagainer54 on 13 Aug 2008 at 19:56 GMT

In my studies of children's acquisition of language and world view, I found that they picked up other's expressions of fear at very young ages, apparently instinctively. But disgust seems to be learned as it only appears at the end of the preschool period and into the first years of school. In fact, they almost delight in sampling the disgusting experience! If they would hold still for an fMRI, a similar study of small children might prove particularly enlightening. Diana Gainer, M.S., Greenville, TX

RE: Disgust Responses according to age

mbembajabbi replied to dianagainer54 on 13 Aug 2008 at 20:53 GMT

That is an interesting point Diana. Children tend to learn specific as well as generalized disgust responses from primary caregivers. We all know the phenomenon of infants ingesting things that are deemed disgusting to adults and thereby provoke reactions of disgust. By the same token, some specific fears are also learned. So as you pointed out, it would indeed be very enlightening to test emotional responses such as disgust in small children if one can do that in an ethically responsible manner.

Mbemba Jabbi, Rockville MD, USA