Fear Extinction to an Out-Group Face

  title={Fear Extinction to an Out-Group Face},
  author={Carlos David Navarrete and Andreas Olsson and Arnold K. Ho and Wendy Berry Mendes and Lotte Thomsen and Jim Sidanius},
  journal={Psychological Science},
  pages={155 - 158}
Conditioning studies on humans and other primates show that fear responses acquired toward danger-relevant stimuli, such as snakes, resist extinction, whereas responses toward danger-irrelevant stimuli, such as birds, are more readily extinguished. Similar evolved biases may extend to human groups, as recent research demonstrates that a conditioned fear response to faces of persons of a social out-group resists extinction, whereas fear toward a social in-group is more readily extinguished. Here… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

On the resistance to extinction of fear conditioned to angry faces.
Fear conditioned to angry faces, like fear conditioned to racial out-group faces, is more malleable than fear conditioning to snakes and spiders.
A clash of values: Fear-relevant stimuli can enhance or corrupt adaptive behavior through competition between Pavlovian and instrumental valuation systems.
This work quantified and compared the effects of different fear-relevant stimuli on instrumental behavior using a computational reinforcement learning model that formalized the idea that the bias reflects competition between an instrumental and a Pavlovian valuation system.
Slithering snakes, angry men and out-group members: What and whom are we evolved to fear?
It is demonstrated thatFear conditioned to social stimuli is less robust than fear conditioned to animal stimuli as it is susceptible to cognitive influence and proposed that it may instead reflect on negative stereotypes and social norms.
Learned fear to social out-group members are determined by ethnicity and prior exposure
It was found that other-ethnicity alone was not sufficient to induce an out-group learning bias and growing up in an ethnically diverse environment was inversely related to the learning bias toward Middle-Eastern, but not Black, out-groups faces, suggesting that learned fears towardMiddle-Eastern faces might be more permeable to environmental factors.
"Prepared" fear or socio-cultural learning? Fear conditioned to guns, snakes, and spiders is eliminated by instructed extinction in a within-participant differential fear conditioning paradigm.
It is suggested that when fear relevance is manipulated within-participants fear conditioned to both phylogenetic and ontogenetic, fear-relevant stimuli responds to instructed extinction providing evidence in favor of a socio-cultural explanation for "preparedness" effects.
Acute stress reduces out-group related safety signaling during fear reinstatement in women
Impaired extinction learning occurred for out-group relative to in-group faces, confirming previous research that stress seems to reduce the ability to adequately distinguish threat and safety cues after aversive experiences mimicked by reinstatement shocks.
Are two threats worse than one? The effects of face race and emotional expression on fear conditioning.
Electrodermal responses were larger to angry faces regardless of race and declined less to other race faces and combining the facial cues of other race and anger does not enhance resistance to extinction of fear.


The Role of Social Groups in the Persistence of Learned Fear
This work examined how the mechanisms of fear conditioning apply when humans learn to associate social ingroup and outgroup members with a fearful event, with the goal of advancing the understanding of basic learning theory and social group interaction.
Fears, phobias, and preparedness: toward an evolved module of fear and fear learning.
The fear module is assumed to mediate an emotional level of fear learning that is relatively independent and dissociable from cognitive learning of stimulus relationships.
Behold the wrath: Psychophysiological responses to facial stimuli
The complex musculature of the human face has been shaped by natural selection to produce gestures that communicate information about intentions and emotional states between senders and receivers.
The confounded nature of angry men and happy women.
Findings of 7 studies suggested that decisions about the sex of a face and the emotional expressions of anger or happiness are not independent: Participants were faster and more accurate at detecting
Phobias and preparedness
Stereotyping and evaluation in implicit race bias: evidence for independent constructs and unique effects on behavior.
It is proposed that implicit stereotyping reflects cognitive processes andShould predict instrumental behaviors such as judgments and impression formation, whereas implicit evaluation reflects affective processes and should predict consummatory behaviors, such as interpersonal preferences and social distance.
Measuring individual differences in implicit cognition: the implicit association test.
An implicit association test (IAT) measures differential association of 2 target concepts with an attribute when instructions oblige highly associated categories to share a response key, and performance is faster than when less associated categories share a key.
Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence
This study is an analysis of the roots of human savagery, dealing with the fundamental questions of why the majority of violence is perpetrated by men, whether this is a matter of nature or nurture
The evolution of lethal intergroup violence
  • R. C. Kelly
  • Psychology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2005
This work seeks to identify and investigate the main turning points in this evolutionary trajectory and to delineate the periodization that follows from this inquiry.
War Before Civilization: The Myth of the Peaceful Savage