The Psychology Behind Why Some People Won't Drink Recycled Water

Shaunacy Ferro

The reasoning behind what grosses us out isn’t always rational. For instance, despite the fact that we can recycle sewage into completely clean, potable drinking water, even people in the most drought-prone regions just can’t get beyond the fact that it used to have poop in it. Why? Let MinuteEarth explain—with the help of animated turds—why disgust is so powerful. 

Still, not everyone finds the same things disgusting, or to the same degree. And what you find truly gross can impact more than just your opinions on drinking recycled water. In fact, a 2014 study found that political affiliation can be linked to how the brain responds to disgust: liberals had very different neural responses to gross images than conservatives did. 

All images via YouTube