The effects of dehumanization on reciprocal dehumanization and collective action

[Speaker] Kteily, Nour:1
1:Northwestern Univeristy (United States of America)

Outgroup dehumanization is increasingly recognized as both a pervasive and potent intergroup perception. Nevertheless, despite a broad literature on the importance of meta-perceptions, no existing research has explored the effects of perceiving that one's own group is dehumanized by an outgroup. Across six studies involving three real-world conflicts, we provide the first empirical evidence for the unique role of meta-dehumanization in contributing to outgroup dehumanization and aggression. Using both experimental and correlational survey research, we explore the relation between dehumanization and support for aggressive policies towards Arabs, and demonstrate that meta-dehumanization uniquely influences outgroup attitudes and behavior through dehumanization controlling for both meta-prejudice and prejudice. Throughout, effects are distinct from political ideology (e.g., conservatism). In sum, our research outlines a novel important factor contributing to cycles of ongoing violence and animosity, thus providing direction for future research and policy-making.
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