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.
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