Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Marie Helweg-Larsen




Research regarding the CAD Triad Hypothesis shows that three specific emotions (contempt, anger, and disgust) are associated with three matched types of moral transgressions (community, autonomy, and divinity). The current studies examined the relationship between emotion and moral judgment of these moral transgressions in the context of fatness, a highly moralized characteristic in the U.S. In Study 1, disgust of college student participants and the weight of a protagonist were manipulated and participants were asked to make moral judgments in response to several hypothetical situations. Contrary to predictions, neither disgust nor the presence of an overweight protagonist was associated with more severe moral judgments. Disgust sensitivity and antifat attitudes did not play a notable role in the predicted relationship between disgust and moral judgment. Study 2 examined associations between the three CAD transgressions and their matched CAD emotions in a sample of women from a local gym. Partial support was found in that divinity transgressions made by overweight individuals were more likely to be judged with disgust than anger or contempt, and autonomy transgressions were more likely to be judged with anger than contempt. These studies have important implications for our understanding of how and why moral judgments are made with regards to overweight individuals.

Included in

Psychology Commons