Merriam-Webster defines Disgust as,

: a strong feeling of dislike for something that has a very unpleasant appearance, taste, smell, etc.

: annoyance and anger that you feel toward something because it is not good, fair, appropriate, etc.

Disgust is a universal emotion of aversion or disapproval. Disgust is strongly linked to our senses of taste and smell. We feel Disgust when we experience something that is revolting, repulsive, offensive or unpleasant. We also feel Disgust when someone violates rules or values. In these cases, Disgust is associated with our vision of purity being violated and not with what is harmful/dangerous or just/unjust. This is what distinguishes Disgust from Fear or Anger.

Disgust helps warn us that something may cause us harm. There are some universal objects that evoke Disgust in humans – bodily secretions, body parts, decaying food, certain living creatures, visible signs of infection or illness.

Trust and Disgust are opposite emotions. Trust creates cooperation and bonding, while Disgust expresses revulsion and disapproval. Trust is fostered by physical contact, Disgust is expressed by withdrawal and reluctance. These emotions also have strong physiological components. Trust increases heart rate, while heart rate slows down when we feel Disgust.

Disgust is characterized by specific facial expressions. When we feel Disgust we draw up and wrinkle our noses, open our mouths and pull down the corners of our lips, jerk our heads backwards, narrow or partially close our eyes, and make sounds of “ugh” or “eew”.

In the Caricatures series of sketches, the artist displays the facial expression of disgust. We see the drawn and wrinkled nose, the upturned lips with the corners down, creasing of the forehead, the narrowed eyes and raised eyebrows. Whatever the person is seeing evokes and clearly communicates Disgust to observers.

Disgust

The emotion Disgust in the Watercolor series of sketches.

The artist for the Watercolor series of sketches choose to represent the “revulsion” aspect of Disgust. We see someone with a bowl of soup, and as they bring up the soup spoon to their mouth, we see the fly in the spoon. A list of questions immediately rises in our mind – Did I eat the soup before I saw the fly in the soup? How could I have missed the fly? We want to fling the spoon and the soup away from us – this is the feeling of Disgust.

Disgust

The emotion Disgust in the Watercolor series of sketches.