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Anxiety Reduces Empathy Toward Outgroup Members But Not Ingroup Members

Abstract : Abstract Substantial research concludes that favoritism toward members of people's ingroup, or ingroup bias, motivates people to oppose public programs that assist needy outgroup individuals. I argue that a gap in the empathic capacity for ingroup and outgroup members motivates and maintains ingroup bias in helping behavior and is sensitive to contextual cues that trigger anxiety. Using a novel experimental design, Study 1 demonstrates that anxiety exacerbates the outgroup empathy gap. Study 2 replicates these findings with an explicit measure of outgroup empathy. Study 3 shows that the outgroup empathy gap causes individuals to become less supportive of helping needy outgroup members. These studies suggest that opposition to welfare programs may go beyond simple prejudice.
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Submitted on : Thursday, April 7, 2022 - 2:34:34 PM
Last modification on : Friday, April 8, 2022 - 3:32:33 AM




Kevin Arceneaux. Anxiety Reduces Empathy Toward Outgroup Members But Not Ingroup Members. Journal of Experimental Political Science, 2017, 4 (1), pp.68-80. ⟨10.1017/XPS.2017.12⟩. ⟨hal-03634164⟩



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