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The role of in-group identification in infra-humanization.

Demoulin, Stephanie, Cortes, Brezo P., Viki, G. Tendayi, Rodriguez, Armando P., Rodriguez, Ramon T., Paladino, Maria Paola, Leyens, Jacques-Philippe (2009) The role of in-group identification in infra-humanization. International Journal of Psychology, 44 (1). pp. 4-11. ISSN 0020-7594. (doi:10.1080/00207590802057654) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:19816)

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People tend to infra-humanize by attributing more human essence to their in-group than to out-groups. In the present article, we focus on the attribution of primary and secondary emotions to operationalize the human essence. We propose that, in order to infra-humanize, people need to be categorized in meaningful groups. In addition, we argue that what differentiates meaningful from nonmeaningful groups is that the people essentialize, perceiving members of the group as sharing an underlying, common essence. Also, we hypothesize that participants will identify more with their in-group in the case of meaningful groups. Three types of groups were created to manipulate the meaningfulness of the categorization. Participants were either randomly assigned to a group or they chose their group as a function of their preferences for a colour or the type of career they wished to pursue. As expected, infra-humanization occurred only where the categorization's criterion was meaningful. In addition, in-group identification, but not essentialism, mediated the impact of the categorization criteria on the tendency to infra-humanize. Data also showed that infra-humanization is different from classic in-group favouritism. This is because in-group favouritism, but not infra-humanization, was observed in the situation where group membership was based on random assignment. In other words, for infra-humanization to occur mere categorization is not enough; meaningfulness is also needed. For in-group favouritism to arise, the knowledge of being part of a group is a sufficient prerequisite. The discussion focuses on conditions for reducing infra-humanization and on the relationship between in-group favouritism and out-group derogation.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/00207590802057654
Uncontrolled keywords: Essentialism; Identification; Infra-humanization
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Tendayi Viki
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2009 11:02 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 09:58 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Viki, G. Tendayi.

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