Hypnotized one set of students and made them dislike the word “take”. Hypnotized another set and made them dislike “often”. Gave them 6 stories of moral violations. Same stories to both camps, but each camp had more if its own disgusting word. Results: Stories with that word ranked as more repulsive.
Also gave them a 7th story, and this one with no moral violations. Dan, the student council president, going around and soliciting opinions. Nothing morally wrong in the story, but again, the use of the words “often” and “take”.
A third of the respondents condemned Dan. Thalia had expected reason would overcome the distaste. He would ask for justifications to force the issue. He got answers like “Dan is a popularity seeking snob!”
Keep this in mind when people give the most ridiculous reasons.