Filthy Animals: Integrating the Behavioral Immune System and Disgust into a Model of Prophylactic Dehumanization

  title={Filthy Animals: Integrating the Behavioral Immune System and Disgust into a Model of Prophylactic Dehumanization},
  author={Alex P. Landry and Elliott Daniel Ihm and Jonathan W. Schooler},
  journal={Evolutionary Psychological Science},
  pages={120 - 133}
The behavioral immune system (BIS) is an evolved psychological mechanism that motivates prophylactic avoidance of disease vectors by eliciting disgust. When felt toward social groups, disgust can dampen empathy and promote dehumanization. Therefore, we investigated whether the BIS facilitates the dehumanization of groups associated with disease by inspiring disgust toward them. An initial content analysis found that Nazi propaganda predominantly dehumanized Jews by portraying them as disease… 
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