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, in one study displayed heightened attention to disfigured individuals, and in a second study showed avoidance — 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.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Our biological immune system activates our behavioral immune system.
Viewing disease cues (skin lesions, someone sneezing) leads people to display a heightened biological immune response (for example, stimulated production of cytokine interleukin-6). Miller and Maner now provide evidence for the converse: Activation of the biological immune system promotes activation of the behavioral immune system. Their abstract: