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Title: Social dominance orientation and terrorist religious affiliation: predictors of dehumanization and affect toward Muslims
Authors: Platten, Samantha
Keywords: Religious affiliation;(de)humanization;social dominance orientation;psycholinguistics;intergroup relations
Issue Date: 4-Mar-2022
Abstract: Research has strongly evidenced the disparity among media and public attitudes toward nonMuslim and Muslim perpetrators of crimes. Recent research demonstrated this discrepancy, whereby non-Muslim perpetrators are viewed as mentally ill and humanized in the media, while Muslim perpetrators are dehumanized and derogated (Elmasry & el-Nawawy, 2020; Mercier et al., 2018). The present study sought to investigate the influence of the reported religious affiliation of a perpetrator on participants’ (de)humanizing attitudes toward Muslims. NonMuslim undergraduate student participants (N = 122) completed a measure of Social Dominance Orientation before exposure to a randomly assigned article reporting on a vehicle bombing with either a Muslim, Christian, or unspecified religious affiliation perpetrator. Results show moderate to higher SDO participants in the Muslim perpetrator condition displayed more dehumanization toward Muslims, while those in the Christian and unspecified perpetrator conditions displayed the opposite. Interestingly, psycholinguistic analyses demonstrated a similar effect, with those in the Muslim and control perpetrator condition utilizing more negative affect language in their free-writing responses than those in the Christian perpetrator condition. Implications for how media reporting influences attitudes toward Muslims will be discussed, along with future directions.
Appears in Collections:Psychology / Psychologie - Master's theses

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