Disgust is an emotional response of rejection or revulsion to something potentially contagious or something considered offensive, distasteful, or unpleasant. In The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, Charles Darwin wrote that disgust is a sensation that refers to something revolting. Disgust is experienced primarily in relation to the sense of taste (either perceived or imagined), and secondarily to anything which causes a similar feeling by sense of smell, touch, or vision. Musically sensitive people may even be disgusted by the cacophony of inharmonious sounds. Research continually has proven a relationship between disgust and anxiety disorders such as arachnophobia, blood-injection-injury type phobias, and contamination fear related obsessive–compulsive disorder (also known as OCD).
Disgust is one of the basic emotions of Robert Plutchik's theory of emotions and has been studied extensively by Paul Rozin. It invokes a characteristic facial expression, one of Paul Ekman's six universal facial expressions of emotion. Unlike the emotions of fear, anger, and sadness, disgust is associated with a decrease in heart rate.