The effects of national identification and perceived solution of inter-ethnic conflicts on the use of linguistic categories (infrahumanization, LIB, agency)‏  

Banga C., László J.
First author's affiliation: University of Pécs, Institute of Psychology, Pécs, Hungary

Linguistic inter-group 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. Infrahumanization paradigm suggests a preferential attribution of “human essence” to in-groups, independently of the valence of emotions. Identification with a nation is usually disentangled into two types: patriotic versus nationalist, and it has a mediating role in inter-group emotions. In our study, the subjects first fulfilled a national identification questionnaire. Then, they were consecutively presented with eight photographs depicting “good” and “bad” historical events as well as positive and negative emotional events where the group-identity of the participants was not identifiable. Labels of the participating groups were systematically varied. We used Hungarian as in-group and Romanian, Polish, Lithuanian, Serbian, Croatian, and Slovakian as out-groups. As dependent variables subjects had to choose between three or four different picture captions. These were varied systematically in linguistic abstraction and in type of emotions (primary versus secondary). Finally, subjects fulfilled a questionnaire about how they perceive the conflicts with these nations. The results showed that subjects with a nationalist attitude expressed a stronger tendency to infrahumanization regardless of the conflict. They also expressed a stronger tendency to linguistic intergroup bias, but only toward those nations with which they perceived an unsolved conflict.