Sick body, vigilant mind: The biological immune system activates the behavioral immune system

Saul L. Miller, Jon K. Maner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations

Abstract

Activation of the behavioral immune system has been shown to promote activation of the biological immune system. The current research tested the hypothesis that activation of the biological immune system (as a result of recent illness) promotes activation of the behavioral immune system. Participants who had recently been ill, and had therefore recently experienced activation of their biological immune system, displayed heightened attention to (Study 1) and avoidance of (Study 2) disfigured individuals-cognitive and behavioral processes reflecting activation of the behavioral immune system. These findings shed light on the interactive nature of biological and psychological mechanisms designed to help people overcome the threat of disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1467-1471
Number of pages5
JournalPsychological Science
Volume22
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2011

Keywords

  • attention
  • avoidance
  • health
  • social cognition
  • threat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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