While clinical research on disgust relies on nonclinical research, the framework of disgust as an immune mechanism is not as central in clinical research. The immune framework for disgust may be integrated into clinical research by acknowledging the role of the self as the critical element protected by the immune system. In this review, we offer the premise that at the center of all disgust-related behaviors, thoughts, and cognitions is an attempt to protect the self (i.e., “disgust is self-centered” or DISC). We offer evidence in support of DISC and explore the relevance of DISC to clinical research for several disgust-related psychopathologies (obsessive-compulsive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, anorexia nervosa, and self-disgust). We then offer future directions for DISC research into disgust-related psychopathologies.
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(Copyright © 2023 The Menninger Foundation)
- immune system
- obsessive-compulsive disorder
- posttraumatic stress disorder