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Why we have a love-hate relationship with ‘disgust’

"That's Disgusting: Unraveling the Mysteries of Repulsion" by Rachel Herz

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Why do we watch disturbing horror movies or gross-out comedies? Why are so many of us repulsed by anything oozy, wiggly, or putrid?

Psychologist Rachel Herz answers these questions and more in her new book “That’s Disgusting: Unraveling the Mysteries of Repulsion.” Disgust, according to Herz, is one of the six basic human emotions, the only one that is unique to humans, and is a product of both instinct and culture.

Herz maintains that disgust significantly shapes our culture and our everyday lives by way of our diets, sex lives, social etiquette and more.


What vile things repulse you and why? What disgusting things fascinate you? In what ways has the feeling of disgust influenced your everyday life?


Rachel Herz, author, “That’s Disgusting: Unraveling the Mysteries of Repulsion”