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Anna Robson

The Disgusting Self: methodological and theoretical developments on the effects of self-disgust on mental health outcomes


Discipline/professional area

Outline of research project

Self-disgust is a distinct self-conscious emotional schema that is characterised by disgust appraisals directed towards the self. Recent studies have demonstrated significant associations between self-disgust and a range of psychological disorders (such as depression, eating disorders and PTSD). However, the existing research on self-disgust has largely relied on self-reported measures that may be susceptible to reporting bias and many fail to capture more automatic effects of self-disgust on psychological and behavioural outcomes. The aim of this PhD is to develop and validate implicit measures of self-disgust with symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders after controlling for the effects of known risk factors for psychopathology, such as loneliness, using a longitudinal design.

Key references

Powell, P. A., Simpson, J., & Overton, P. G. (2013). When disgust leads to dysphoria: A three-wave longitudinal study assessing the temporal relationship between self-disgust and depressive symptoms. Cognition & emotion27(5), 900-913.

Overton, P. G., Markland, F. E., Taggart, H. S., Bagshaw, G. L., & Simpson, J. (2008). Self-disgust mediates the relationship between dysfunctional cognitions and depressive symptomatology. Emotion8(3), 379.


Director of studies
Dr Antonia Ypsilanti


Dr Lambros Lazuras
Dr John Reidy
Dr Paul Overton (External Advisor)

Expected Completion date

23 September 2021

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