Maria Giuseppina Pacilli, Stefano Pagliaro, Chiara Santinelli

Perceived moral distance and outgroup dehumanization in the political context

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Political identity; dehumanization; moral differences.

We investigated the relation between ingroup identification, perceived moral distance and outgroup dehumanization. We manipulated the (high vs. low) salience of identification with either the political ingroup or a different ingroup (that is, the membership in a district of the city of Fabriano) between participants (N = 194, 55% males, mean age = 29.85, SD = 8.89). Perceived moral distance between the ingroup and the outgroup and outgroup dehumanization were assessed as well. Results show that ingroup identification predicted perceiving stronger moral differences between the ingroup and the outgroup as well as outgroup dehumanization, but only when participants self-categorized in terms of political membership. Practical implications of the findings are discussed in the light of the social identity theory.

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