Trypophobia as an urbanized emotion: Comparative research in ethnic minority regions of China

Siqi Zhu, Kyoshiro Sasaki, Yue Jiang, Kun Qian, Yuki Yamada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Trypophobia is a strong emotion of disgust evoked by clusters of holes or round objects (e.g., lotus seed pod). It has become increasingly popular and been studied since 2010s, mainly in the West and Japan. Considering this, trypophobia might be a modern emotion, and hence urbanization possibly plays key roles in trypophobia. To address this issue, we compared the degree of trypophobia between urban and less urban people in China. In an experiment, we asked participants about their degree of discomfort from trypophobic images. The results showed that trypophobia occurred in both groups, although the effect size was larger in urban than less urban people. Moreover, post-experimental interviews and post-hoc analyses revealed that older people in less urban area did not experience as much trypophobia. Our findings suggest that trypophobia links to urbanization and age-related properties.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere8837
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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