Mating strategy, disgust, and food neophobia
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Food neophobia and disgust are commonly thought to be linked, but this hypothesis is typically implicitly assumed rather than directly tested. Evidence for the connection has been based on conceptually and empirically unsound measures of disgust, unpublished research, and indirect findings. This study (N = 283) provides the first direct evidence of a relationship between trait-level food neophobia and trait-level pathogen disgust. Unexpectedly, we also found that food neophobia varies as a function of sexual disgust and is linked to mating strategy. Using an evolutionary framework, we propose a novel hypothesis that may account for these previously undiscovered findings: the food neophilia as mating display hypothesis. Our discussion centers on future research directions for discriminatively testing this novel hypothesis.