About this Research Topic
We humans have increased the longevity of our species by developing technology that protects us from diseases and delays death, thereby contributing toward our survival. Further, we can say that the evolutionary basis oriented toward our survival has distanced diseases from us. This is functionally similar to our biological immune system that protects our health by resisting pathogens. In other words, we can resist pathogens both biologically and behaviorally. If we find the functional similarity here, we can understand that we have a behavioral immunity. Such an idea is more sophistically theorized along with the notion of the behavioral immune system. Today, human beings and disease-producing pathogen coexist. Therefore, knowing about the behavioral immune system is exactly like knowing the relationship between humans and diseases and to understand its consequences. This is an important agenda imposed upon psychology.
The aim of this Research Topic is to clarify the psychological basis of the behavioral immune system and its function. The behavioral immune system is believed to include a sensory and perceptual system related to the detection of the risk of an infectious disease, an emotional system emphasizing disgust, a cognitive system relating to evaluation and decision making, and a behavioral system related to actual coping. The influences of the behavioral immune system range from a micro or personal level (e.g., disease avoidance, interpersonal relationship, and mating behavior) to a macro or social level (e.g., exclusion against external groups). These knowledges indicate that the behavioral immune system can be a strong framework for explaining the wide range of human behavior. As the behavioral immune system is related to diverse psychological components, an interdisciplinary approach must be applied for understanding it. Such efforts will uncover the structure and function of the behavioral immune system, creating practical knowledge that contributes to the human mental and physical health. Therefore, this Research Topic welcomes psychological studies dealing with the behavioral immune system based on diverse disciplines.
The scope of the contribution may include, but is not limited to, the following:
(i) Structure and mechanism of the behavioral immune system
(ii) Psychological consequences of the behavioral immune system
(iii) Applied research related to mental and physical health of humans
As mentioned above, this Research Topic encourages submissions from various aspects of psychology such as sensation, perception, cognition, emotion, evolution, social relations, and clinical and practical applications. Theoretical contributions, literature reviews, short communications as well as empirical investigations are welcome. We hope to accumulate psychological knowledge and obtain a more sophisticated understanding of the behavioral immune system.
Keywords: behavioral immune system, disgust emotion, social behavior, disease avoidance, human health
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.