Sense of interpersonal security and preference for harsh actions against others: The role of dehumanization
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AbstractThree experiments examined the effects of interpersonal security, defined as a sense of being loved, protected, or cared for through social interactions, on individuals' inclination to dehumanize other people and their preference for harsh actions that might bring pain and suffering to others. In Experiment 1, participants who were primed with interpersonal security, compared to those in the control condition, were less prone to dehumanize a woman who had withdrawn illegal money from a malfunctioning ATM, which in turn predicted their preference for a less severe punishment for her. In Experiments 2 and 3, participants who were instructed to recall a social situation in which they felt loved and protected were less likely to support a harsh policy of forced migration of certain individuals than those who were primed with a neutral scene, through a reduction in participants' levels of dehumanization. Moreover, in Experiment 3, we directly compared our manipulation of interpersonal security with Waytz and Epley's (2012) procedure to manipulate social connection and found that only when the nurturance-related aspects of social connection were highlighted were participants less prone to dehumanize others.
All Author(s) ListZhang H., Chan D.K.-S., Teng F., Zhang D.
Journal nameJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Year2015
Month1
Day1
Volume Number56
PublisherAcademic Press
Place of PublicationUnited States
Pages165 - 171
ISSN0022-1031
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom
KeywordsDehumanization, Interpersonal security, Preference for harsh actions

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