Petrowski, Katja; Paul, Soeren; Schmutzer, Gabriele; Braehler, Elmar; Albani, Cornelia; Roth, Marcus:

Domains of disgust sensitivity: revisited factor structure of the questionnaire for the assessment of disgust sensitivity (QADS) in a cross-sectional, representative German survey

In: BMC Medical Research Methodology, (2010)
Zeitschriftenaufsatz / Fach: Psychologie
Fakultät für Bildungswissenschaften » Institut für Psychologie
Background: Disgust sensitivity is defined as a predisposition to experiencing disgust, which can be measured on
the basis of the Disgust Scale and its German version, the Questionnaire for the Assessment of Disgust Sensitivity
(QADS). In various studies, different factor structures were reported for either instrument. The differences may most
likely be due to the selected factor analysis estimation methods and the small non-representative samples.
Consequently, the aims of this study were to explore and confirm a theory-driven and statistically coherent QADS
factor structure in a large representative sample and to present its standard values.
Methods: The QADS was answered by N = 2473 healthy subjects. The respective households and participants
were selected using the random-route sampling method. Afterwards, the collected sample was compared to the
information from the Federal Statistical Office to ensure that it was representative for the German residential
population. With these data, an exploratory Promax-rotated Principal Axis Factor Analysis as well as comparative
confirmatory factor analyses with robust Maximum Likelihood estimations were computed. Any possible sociodemographic
influences were quantified as effect sizes.
Results: The data-driven and theoretically sound solution with the three highly interrelated factors Animal
Reminder Disgust, Core Disgust, and Contamination Disgust led to a moderate model fit. All QADS scales had very
good reliabilities (Cronbach’s alpha) from .90 to .95. There were no age-differences found among the participants,
however, the female participants showed remarkably higher disgust ratings.
Conclusions: Based on the representative sample, the QADS factor structure was revised. Gender-specific standard
percentages permit a population-based assessment of individual disgust sensitivity. The differences of the original
QADS, the new solution, and the Disgust Scale - Revised will be discussed.

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