Title

“We are People”: In-Group Humanization as an Existential Defense

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-2010

Keywords

death-thought accessibility, ingroup humanization, mortality salience, self-esteem, terror management theory

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.1037/a0017658

Abstract

Prior research has shown the importance of humanness in shaping one's social identity, but no research has examined why this is the case. The present article reveals that humanizing the ingroup serves a terror management function. In 3 studies, Italian (Studies 1 and 2) and American (Study 3) participants humanized their own group more when their mortality was salient. In Study 3, humanizing the ingroup also functioned to reduce the accessibility of death thoughts. Together, these studies provide clear support for terror management theory as an explanatory framework for ingroup humanization.

Was this content written or created while at USF?

Yes

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, v. 98, issue 5, p. 750-760

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