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Perceiving Mixed Valence Emotions Reduces Intergroup Dehumanization

Prati, Francesca, Giner-Sorolla, Roger (2018) Perceiving Mixed Valence Emotions Reduces Intergroup Dehumanization. Cognition and Emotion, 32 (5). pp. 1018-1031. ISSN 0269-9931. E-ISSN 1464-0600. (doi:10.1080/02699931.2017.1383885) (KAR id:63570)


To deny others’ humanity is one of the most heinous forms of intergroup prejudice. Given evidence that perceiving various forms of complexity in outgroup members reduces intergroup prejudice, we investigated across three experiments whether the novel dimension of emotional complexity, or outgroup members’ joint experience of mixed-valence emotions, would also reduce their dehumanization. Experiment 1 found that perceiving fictitious aliens’ experience of the same primary emotions (e.g., sadness) presented in mixed vs. non-mixed valence pairs led to reduced prejudice via attenuated dehumanization, i.e. attribution of uniquely human emotions. Experiment 2 confirmed these results, using an unfamiliar real-world group as an outgroup target. Experiment 3 used a familiar outgroup and found generally similar effects, reducing social distance through reduced dehumanization. These processes suggest that an alternate route to reduced dehumanizing of outgroups might involve presenting mixed valence emotions.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/02699931.2017.1383885
Uncontrolled keywords: dehumanization, humanity, emotions, mixed emotions, prejudice, groups
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology > Centre for the Study of Group Processes
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology > Social Psychology
Depositing User: Roger Giner-Sorolla
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2017 10:39 UTC
Last Modified: 06 May 2020 03:16 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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