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When in Rome… Identification and acculturation strategies among minority members moderate the dehumanisation of the majority outgroup

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European Journal of Social Psychology

Published online on


The study of humanness as a dimension of social judgment has received extensive attention over the past decade. Although the common reported finding is that people attribute more human characteristics to their ingroup than to the outgroup, similar tendencies are expected to be tempered for minority groups when judging the host society. In Study 1, carried out with Gypsy minority members, we tested the hypothesis that those group members who adopt an assimilative strategy identifying more with the host compared with the heritage culture will display the lowest levels of dehumanisation. In Studies 2 and 3, conducted with immigrants in Italy and in Portugal, respectively, the hypothesis was extended from an identification conceptualisation to an acculturation one. Despite significant variability in intergroup settings and measures, results confirmed our hypothesis that immigrants who choose to assimilate with the host culture dehumanise the outgroup less compared with those who adopt any of the other acculturation strategies. Implications for the ethnocentric nature of dehumanisation biases and for intergroup relations in general are discussed. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.