Differential Association of Uniquely and Non Uniquely Human Emotions with the Ingroup and the Outgroup

Maria Paola Paladino, Jacques Philippe Leyens, Ramon Rodriguez, Armando Rodriguez, Ruth Gaunt, Stéphanie Demoulin

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149 Scopus citations


According to Leyens et al.'s (2000) theory, intergroup discrimination involves a differential appraisal of the ingroup's and the outgroup's uniquely human characteristics. Four experiments investigated how emotions that are considered uniquely (i.e. secondary emotions) and non uniquely (i.e. primary emotions) human (Demoulin et al., 2001a) are differentially associated with the ingroup and the outgroup. Using the Implicit Association Task (IAT) we found a stronger association of ingroup names with uniquely human emotions and of outgroup names with non uniquely human emotions, than the reverse. Whereas Study 2 used negative emotions, all other experiments used positive emotions. In Study 3, two IAT indices were collected: an emotional index and a standard evaluative one. While the outgroup was constituted by North African names in the first three studies, Study 4 staged French-speaking Belgians (i.e. the ingroup) versus Dutch-speaking Belgians (i.e. the outgroup). The results are discussed within the framework of psychological essentialism, according to which uniquely human characteristics form the essence of the ingroup.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-117
Number of pages13
JournalGroup Processes and Intergroup Relations
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • emotions
  • essentialism
  • implicit association task (IAT)
  • infra-humanization
  • prejudice


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