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Disgust Proneness and Personal Space in Children:

Disgust Proneness and Personal Space in Children: Individuals vary in their personal space (PS) size as reflected by the preferred distance to another person during social interactions. A previous study with adults showed that pathogen-relevant disgust proneness (DP) predicted PS magnitude. The present study investigated whether this association between DP and PS already exists in 8- to 12-year-old children (144 girls, 101 boys). The children answered a disgust questionnaire with the two trait dimensions “core disgust (contact with spoiled food and poor hygiene) and “death-relevant disgust” (imagined contact with dead and dying organisms). PS magnitude was assessed with a paper–pencil measure (drawing a PS bubble; Experiment 1) or with the stop-distance task (preferred distance to an approaching woman or man; Experiment 2). In both experiments, only death-related disgust predicted PS magnitude and only if the approaching person was male. The current study questions the relevance of pathogen-related disgust in children for regulating interpersonal distance. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Evolutionary Psychology SAGE

Disgust Proneness and Personal Space in Children:

Evolutionary Psychology , Volume 17 (3): 1 – Sep 18, 2019

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © 2022 by SAGE Publications Inc., unless otherwise noted. Manuscript content on this site is licensed under Creative Commons Licenses
ISSN
1474-7049
eISSN
1474-7049
DOI
10.1177/1474704919870990
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Individuals vary in their personal space (PS) size as reflected by the preferred distance to another person during social interactions. A previous study with adults showed that pathogen-relevant disgust proneness (DP) predicted PS magnitude. The present study investigated whether this association between DP and PS already exists in 8- to 12-year-old children (144 girls, 101 boys). The children answered a disgust questionnaire with the two trait dimensions “core disgust (contact with spoiled food and poor hygiene) and “death-relevant disgust” (imagined contact with dead and dying organisms). PS magnitude was assessed with a paper–pencil measure (drawing a PS bubble; Experiment 1) or with the stop-distance task (preferred distance to an approaching woman or man; Experiment 2). In both experiments, only death-related disgust predicted PS magnitude and only if the approaching person was male. The current study questions the relevance of pathogen-related disgust in children for regulating interpersonal distance.

Journal

Evolutionary PsychologySAGE

Published: Sep 18, 2019

Keywords: personal space; disgust proneness; children

References