Citizens of the world: National stereotypes do not affect empathic response in the presence of individuating information

Authors:
MohammadHasan Sharifian, Javad Hatami, Seyed Amir Hossein Batouli, Mohammad Mahdi Fathian Boroujeni
Published Online:
10 Sep 2021
DOI:
10.1002/ijop.12807
Volume/Issue No:
Early View Articles

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Stereotyping is defined as generalising an attribute to a whole group and overlooking individual differences. In this study, we investigated whether Iranians' stereotypes of nations affected their empathy for the citizens of those nations. First, in a pilot study we explored common national stereotypes by using the stereotype content model (SCM) based on which six countries with different perceived warmth and competence scores were selected as nationalities of the protagonists of the vignettes in our experiment. In the next phase, 21 participants were asked to rate the degree of sadness associated with each vignette in an fMRI scanner. The results showed no significant differences in brain activity while participants were exposed to scenarios in which negative events befell people from different nations. This may be due to the individuation of victims by providing personal information about them.

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