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That's Disgusting

Unraveling the Mysteries of Repulsion

Rachel Herz, PhD


List Price: 26.95*
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Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (2/25/2013)


An entertaining and revealing look at the science behind the emotion of disgust.

Disgust originated to prevent us from eating poisonous food, but this simple safety mechanism has since evolved into a uniquely human emotion that dictates how we treat others, shapes our cultural norms, and even has implications for our mental and physical health. That’s Disgusting illuminates the science behind disgust, tackling such colorful topics as cannibalism, humor, and pornography to address larger questions: Why do sources of disgust vary among people and societies? Where does disgust come from in our brain and what deeper fears does it reflect? How does disgust influence our individual personalities, our daily lives, and our values? It turns out that disgust underlies more than we realize, from political ideologies to the lure of horror movies. Drawing on surprising research in psychology and evolutionary biology, That’s Disgusting shows us that disgust mirrors human nature and, as a result, is as complex and varied as we are.

Praise For That's Disgusting: Unraveling the Mysteries of Repulsion

...[Herz] manages it quite admirably: to be vivid and true to her subject without getting so revolting that her readers react the way we react to anything that disgusts us, which is by trying to get as far away as possible.
— Robin Marantz Henig, author of Pandora's baby: How the First Test Tube Babies Sparked the Reproductive Revolution - New York Times Book Review

[Herz's] strength as a researcher and author are apparent in her ability to cite and explain academic studies in a conversational manner.
— Becky Krystal - Washington Post

W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393076479, 288pp.

Publication Date: January 23, 2012

About the Author

Rachel Herz is a neuroscientist specializing in perception and emotion. She teaches at Brown University and Boston College, and is a professional consultant. The author of The Scent of Desire and That’s Disgusting, she lives in Rhode Island.