Bleeding-Heart Liberals and Hard-Hearted Conservatives: Subtle Political Dehumanization Through Differential Attributions of Human Nature and Human Uniqueness Traits

32 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2013

See all articles by Jarret Crawford

Jarret Crawford

The College of New Jersey

Sean Modri

Residence Life and Housing; The College of New Jersey

Matt Motyl

University of Illinois at Chicago; University of Illinois at Chicago

Date Written: August 15, 2013

Abstract

This research demonstrated that human nature (HN) and human uniqueness (HU) traits capture the content of people’s stereotypes about liberals and conservatives, respectively. Consistent with expectations derived from dehumanization theory, people more strongly associated HN traits with liberals than with conservatives, and more strongly associated HU traits with conservatives than with liberals. A trait × target ideology × perceiver ideology × trait valence interaction suggested that both liberals and conservatives more strongly associated their in-group with stereotype-consistent positive qualities, and their out-group with stereotype-consistent negative qualities. Mediation analyses revealed that out-group antipathy, but not in-group liking, explained the relationship between ideology and political out-group dehumanization. Finally, humanness traits captured subtle differences in political stereotype content not captured with the warmth and competence ratings derived from the stereotype content model. Together, these results indicate that differential attributions of HN and HU traits capture political stereotype content and function to subtly dehumanize one’s political opponents.

Keywords: dehumanization, politics, political psychology, culture war, civility, stereotypes, inter-group relations

Suggested Citation

Crawford, Jarret and Modri, Sean and Motyl, Matt, Bleeding-Heart Liberals and Hard-Hearted Conservatives: Subtle Political Dehumanization Through Differential Attributions of Human Nature and Human Uniqueness Traits (August 15, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2310758 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2310758

Jarret Crawford (Contact Author)

The College of New Jersey ( email )

P.O. Box 7718
Ewing, NJ 08628-0718
United States

Sean Modri

Residence Life and Housing ( email )

1071 Blue Hills Ave
Milton, MA 02186
United States
6173332344 (Phone)

The College of New Jersey ( email )

P.O. Box 7718
Ewing, NJ 08628-0718
United States

Matt Motyl

University of Illinois at Chicago ( email )

1007 W. Harrison St. (m/c 285)
Psychology Department
Chicago, IL 60607
United States

HOME PAGE: http://motyl.people.uic.edu

University of Illinois at Chicago ( email )

1102 Behavioral Science Building (BSB)
Chicago, IL 60607-7137
United States

HOME PAGE: http://motyl.people.uic.edu

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
356
Abstract Views
1,675
rank
83,380
PlumX Metrics