Through two studies (N = 602) conducted in Italy between February and March 2020, we examined the impact of the COVID-19 emergency on biologization—a form of dehumanization that involves the perception of others as contagious entities—and outgroup prejudice. Overall, results showed that higher emergency perception was associated with greater biologization toward the groups most affected by the virus, namely the Chinese outgroup and the Italian ingroup. In turn, biologization toward the outgroup increased prejudice against that group. We also found that when the pandemic hit Italy, the greater emergency perception was associated with increased emotional closeness with Chinese people, resulting in reduced biologization and prejudice toward them. However, these results held true only for Italian respondents who reported higher levels of ingroup biologization. Taken together, our findings contribute to the knowledge gaps of biologization and prejudice by also providing relevant insights into the ongoing health emergency.

Intergroup biologization and outgroup prejudice in the time of COVID-19

Andrighetto L.
2022

Abstract

Through two studies (N = 602) conducted in Italy between February and March 2020, we examined the impact of the COVID-19 emergency on biologization—a form of dehumanization that involves the perception of others as contagious entities—and outgroup prejudice. Overall, results showed that higher emergency perception was associated with greater biologization toward the groups most affected by the virus, namely the Chinese outgroup and the Italian ingroup. In turn, biologization toward the outgroup increased prejudice against that group. We also found that when the pandemic hit Italy, the greater emergency perception was associated with increased emotional closeness with Chinese people, resulting in reduced biologization and prejudice toward them. However, these results held true only for Italian respondents who reported higher levels of ingroup biologization. Taken together, our findings contribute to the knowledge gaps of biologization and prejudice by also providing relevant insights into the ongoing health emergency.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11567/1072774
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