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This study tested the hypothesis that threats related to infectious diseases would make persons less willing to affiliate with out-groups and that feelings of disgust and beliefs about the out-group members would mediate this effect. To test this hypothesis, American participants of European descent were presented with either a disease threat or control threat. Then they were shown a photograph of someone of the same race or different race. Participants were asked to indicate whether they would avoid the target person and to state their emotional and cognitive responses to the person. As predicted, disease salience decreased the desire to affiliate with out-group members, and both feelings of disgust and beliefs about the infection risk posed by the target person mediated this relationship.
Disease Threat; Prejudice; Affiliation; Out-Groups; In-Group
Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences
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Disease Salience Effects on Desire for Affiliation With In-Group and Out-Group Members: Cognitive and Affective Mediators.
Evolutionary Psychology, 18(3),