Does the perceived solution of historical conflicts have an effect on linguistic intergroup bias and infrahumanization?  

Szabo Z. P., Laszlo J.
First author's affiliation: University of Pecs Psychology Department, Pecs, Hungary

This study examined linguistic intergroup bias and infrahumanization in relation to historical conflicts between national groups. Linguistic intergroup bias is the tendency to describe positive in-group behaviors and negative out-group behaviors more abstractly than negative in-group behaviors and positive out-group behaviors (Maas et al, 1989; 1996). To illustrate the LIB, the Linguistic Category Model (LCM) was used in this current research (Semin and Fiedler, 1989; 1991). We also tried to examine the hypothesis of infrahumanization which suggests a preferential attribution of the “human essence” to in-groups, independent of in-group favoritism (Haslem et al, 2005; Leyens et al, 2003). We tried to measure the perceived solution of historical conflicts. In this way a historical conflict is placed on a continuum between "terminated" and "unterminated". We also tried to examine whether the type of identification with one's nation influences linguistic bias and infrahumanization or not (Roccas&Klar, 2006). In our first study participants were presented with single-frame drawings in which a people performed a certain behavior. The people on the drawings were introduced as a typical Austrian, Hungarian, Lithuanian or Romanian people. We used a fixed-response scale format controlling for the level of abstractness developed from LCM. We also asked the participants to choose primary and secondary emotions which the picture target might felt. In our second study participants were presented with the same drawings, but this time we used a free-response format. We also asked the participants to rate primary and secondary emotions which the picture target might felt. The participants of our studies only showed linguistic bias and infrahumanization towards out-group members where the in-group and the out-group have an unsolved historical relationship. The type of identification had no effect on linguistic bias and infrahumanization.