Why won’t you donate your organs? How disgust sensitivity and death anxiety are related to avoidance of registered donor


Research output: ThesisMaster's Theses


What prevents people saving others by donating their organs posthumously? Health and life-death related decision-making is not likely to be driven solely by rational reasoning or cool, cognitive processing. In this study, we examined whether non-cognitive, higharousal emotions play a role in explaining behavioral commitment. Methods: Participants (N = 105) in the present study completed measures of disgust sensitivity, death anxiety, attitudes towards organ donation and, a social desirability scale, as well as reported their level of commitment on donor registration. Results: As predicted, disgust sensitivity and death anxiety are positively correlated and specifically, weaken the relation between attitude and behavior. Overall positive attitude towards organ donation became less predictive for high commitment on high disgust sensitive / high death anxiety individuals (and vice versa). Discussion and implications: Individual differences in disgust sensitivity and death anxiety influences people’s thought process and behavioral selfregulation. Both attitudes and emotions are predictive of commitment to donate but interactions of negative emotions and attitudes gives even better understanding of why positive attitudes towards donation may not lead to high donation rates. Suggestions: Acknowledge the emotional arousals elicited by organ donation and assist people to reach a decision consistent with their own values. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationMaster of Social Sciences
Awarding Institution
  • The Education University of Hong Kong
  • BUCHTEL, Emma Ellen Kathrina 蒲安梅, Supervisor
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Attitude
  • Disgust
  • Death anxiety
  • Organ donation
  • Theses and Dissertations
  • Thesis (M.Soc.Sc(Psy))--The Education University of Hong Kong, 2016.


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