Children Consider Their Own Group to Be More Human Than Other Social Groups: Evidence From Indirect and Direct Measures

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Three studies were conducted to determine whether outgroups were dehumanized through animalization since childhood. Using the Implicit Association Test (IAT), in Study 1 we found faster reaction times in the compatible condition (ingroup names and human words, outgroup names and animal words), compared with the incompatible condition (ingroup names and animal words, outgroup names and human words). In Study 2, we used a paper-and-pencil design and found that the association between animal-related words and outgroups was more prevalent in comparison to ingroups. The participants of Study 3 selected a larger number of animal-related words to describe the outgroups than their own groups. Results revealed that the tendency to animalize is a process that begins during early childhood.

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