Titel: A Developmental Perspective on Linguistic Intergroup Biases
Sprache: Englisch
Autor*in: Otten, Mirja
Schlagwörter: Linguistic intergroup bias; Language abstraction; Attitude formation; Intergroup attitudes; Developmental psychology
GND-Schlagwörter: SozialpsychologieGND
Erscheinungsdatum: 2021
Tag der mündlichen Prüfung: 2022-04-20
The linguistic intergroup bias (LIB) describes systematic differences in language use that are related to underlying intergroup attitudes: Individuals tend to describe desirable behaviors of ingroup members in abstract linguistic terms and undesirable behaviors of ingroup members in more concrete terms. For reports on behavior of outgroup members, this pattern reverses.
This difference signals different perceptions and representations of in- and outgroups: On the one hand, positive ingroup behavior and negative outgroup behavior are perceived as more diagnostic about the actors and their social group. On the other hand, negative ingroup behavior and positive outgroup behavior are represented as rather rare events.
Such subtle differences may not only indicate existing group representations, but also facilitate the social transmission of stereotypes. It has been assumed that biased language is an important factor in the socialization of stereotypical thinking. However, empirical support for this assumption is scarce and to this point we lack a clear developmental perspective on the association of language abstraction and attitude formation. Following the assumption that there is a causal effect of language abstraction on impression formation respectively formation of group evaluation, this effect should be visible already early in childhood, since empirical evidence has placed emergence of intergroup attitudes in this developmental phase.
In a series of studies, we presented children with storybooks in which agents of two novel social groups demonstrate desired and undesired behaviors. In each study, we manipulated with which level of abstraction group behaviors were described. We found however no systematic effect of language abstraction on group evaluation, neither for novel groups that were presented with unambiguous behavior, i.e., behaving either only positively or only negatively, nor for groups presented with ambiguous behavior, i.e., groups behaving equally positive and negative. To investigate whether a potential effect of language abstraction is subject to a certain developmental level, the sample of one of our experiments additionally includes adults, yet we found no systematic effect of language abstraction on group evaluation for adults either.
We discuss the potential effects of language abstraction on impression formation, acknowledging the experiments’ limitations and drawing an outline for further research.
URL: https://ediss.sub.uni-hamburg.de/handle/ediss/10233
URN: urn:nbn:de:gbv:18-ediss-108847
Dokumenttyp: Dissertation
Betreuer*in: Degener, Juliane
Wagner, Jenny
Enthalten in den Sammlungen:Elektronische Dissertationen und Habilitationen

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