Why Reading About the Rapture Leaves a Bad Taste in Your Mouth

Intrigues that this study was done only on “self-described Christians”. Given the title of the article I’m citing, I’d have expected atheists to be tested as well and why not other religions? Interesting, though. Guess I’ll have to go off and seek out similar studies.

In a recent experiment, 82 undergrads, all self-described Christians, filed in for a test that researchers billed as a handwriting personality assessment.

First, though, the test-takers were offered a drink, a very diluted lemon-flavored glass of water, and asked to rate its sweetness, sourness, bitterness, and disgusting-ness. Then, they were asked to copy a short passage from either the Bible, The God Delusion, the Quran, or the dictionary. Finally, they were given another drink, which was supposedly different (but actually the same exact flavor).

What’s remarkable is that the students found that second drink of lemony water tasted more disgusting after reading about Islam or atheism, according to Miller-McCune’s Tom Jacobs report on the paper “Gross Gods and Icky Atheism,” suggesting a link between moral taste and our literal taste taste.

It is the latest intriguing development in the controversial psychological research into moral emotions—the drivers that help explain why we think in vitro meat is disgusting, why Americans don’t tend to eat fermented seafood (and Chinese don’t tend to eat fermented milk), and why people don’t eat fudge when it looks like feces. It turns out there’s a link between our moral disgust and literal disgusts. And in many cases, our early food choices have been the cause.

More at good.is

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