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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 616; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060616

The Effects of Outgroup Threat and Opportunity to Derogate on Salivary Cortisol Levels

University of Ottawa, School of Psychology, Vanier Hall, 136 Jean-Jacques Lussier, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada
These authors contributed equally to this work.
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Anthony Mawson
Received: 31 March 2016 / Revised: 14 June 2016 / Accepted: 17 June 2016 / Published: 21 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress Biomarkers)
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Abstract

Perceptions of intergroup threat have been related to both experiences of physiological stress responses and derogation of the outgroup. In this study, a neuroscience perspective was used to investigate the relationship between stress and opportunity to derogate the outgroup, in a threatening intergroup context. Research from a social identity perspective suggests that engaging in outgroup derogation alleviates stress when perceiving an intergroup threat. However, in line with the model of intergroup anxiety, opportunity to derogate could exacerbate the negative connotations of a threatening situation, resulting in more stress. Canadian participants (N = 110) were exposed to text describing either discriminatory or favorable comments expressed by Chinese individuals towards Canadians. Half of the participants were given the opportunity to derogate via a bias task. Salivary cortisol was used as a measure of stress and was collected at baseline, post-threat, and post-derogation. As expected, threatening identity led to more stress as evidenced by increased cortisol concentrations. Furthermore, threatened participants who had an opportunity to derogate showed greater cortisol concentrations than those who did not. These results demonstrate a link between stress and the opportunity to derogate, and highlights the value of using biological markers within the intergroup context. Rewrite abstract to remove all the references (they are meaningless because the abstracting services will use the abstract as is but will not provide the references so their presence is useless. View Full-Text
Keywords: outgroup derogation; threat; stress response; intergroup relations; social neuroscience outgroup derogation; threat; stress response; intergroup relations; social neuroscience
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Sampasivam, S.; Collins, K.A.; Bielajew, C.; Clément, R. The Effects of Outgroup Threat and Opportunity to Derogate on Salivary Cortisol Levels. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 616.

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