How Our Brains Respond to People Who Aren't Like Us





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Published on Oct 17, 2018

Are we dehumanizing people who are part of our out-groups today? Humans are tribal creatures, and we tend to view our in-groups more favorably. But research has shown that some people can see out-group members as less-than-human.

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Preferences and beliefs in ingroup favoritism
“While research has tended to neglect some of the core features of the social identity approach, it does not necessarily need to do so. In fact, considering the complete social identity approach will help to shed light on a number of questions concerning ingroup favoritism, thus being of benefit to researchers from all disciplines working in this area.”

Implicit Ingroup Favoritism, Outgroup Favoritism, and Their Behavioral Manifestations
“First, individuals who belong to socially advantaged groups typically exhibit more implicit preference for their ingroups and bias against outgroups than do members of socially disadvantaged groups. This research suggests that intergroup preferences and prejudices are influenced by two different psychological forces—people's tendency to prefer groups associated with themselves as a confirmation of their high self-exteem versus their tendency to prefer groups valued by the mainstream culture as a confirmation of the sociopolitical order in society.”

Is social categorization based on relational ingroup/outgroup opposition? A meta-analysis
“A more ventral part of anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) can be associated with self-referential reasoning about ingroup members while a more dorsal part of ACC is involved in the regulation of emotions toward outgroup members. Right insula can be engaged in the modulation of outgroup avoidance behavior. Fusiform gyrus (FG) appears to be directly involved in social categorization process via top-down modulation of social perception. Yet it is difficult to associate any of the revealed clusters with the relational ingroup/outgroup structure.”


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