Kollareth, Dolichan. “On the emotions linked to morality”, Boston College, 2017. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/bc-ir:108040.
Theories in moral psychology propose a link between emotions and moral judgments. This dissertation presents a series of studies examining whether different discrete emotions are each linked to a different discrete moral content. Some of the studies tested a proposal called CAD: an acronym for the theory that contempt is linked to violations in the community domain (C), anger is linked to violations in the autonomy domain (A), and disgust is linked to violations in the divinity domain (D). Other studies further focused on the emotion disgust: Whether acts or issues that remind humans of their animal nature elicit disgust and whether the English concept of disgust refers to a single emotional experience pan-culturally. In most of the studies we recruited participants both from America and from India (N = 3893). The findings challenged any clean mappings between different discrete emotions and different contents of moral violations. Instead, moral violations were associated with a range of negative emotions rather than with a specific one. There was no support for the hypothesis that acts or issues that remind us of our animal nature elicit disgust, and the English concept disgust, as referring to unclean substances and moral violations, is equivalent to similar concepts in two Indian languages.