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Of Filthy Pigs and Subhuman Mongrels: Dehumanization, Disgust, and Intergroup Prejudice, Testing, Psychometrics, Methodology in Applied Psychology


Representing others as less-than-human can have profound consequences, delegitimizing the target and removing them from protections otherwise afforded to “people.” This review explores recent de- velopments in research on both outgroup dehumanization and the emotion of (intergroup) disgust, fac- tors increasingly receiving attention for their importance in explaining intergroup relations. We specifi- cally explore topics such as the human-animal divide (i.e., the sense that humans are different from and superior to non-human animals) and intergroup disgust sensitivity (i.e., revulsion reactions toward out- groups, particularly those foreign in nature). We conclude that: a) human outgroup prejudices (e.g., ra- cism) find their origins, in part, in human-animal relations; b) our expressed revulsion toward other groups plays a meaningful role in explaining bias, beyond ideology and related emotions (e.g., inter- group anxiety); c) the field needs to integrate dehumanization and disgust into existing theories of in- tergroup prejudice to better understand the ways we psychologically distance ourselves from outgroups.




G. Hodson, Nour Kteily, M. Hoffarth

Date Published



Hodson, G., Nour Kteily, and M. Hoffarth. 2014. Of Filthy Pigs and Subhuman Mongrels: Dehumanization, Disgust, and Intergroup Prejudice. Testing, Psychometrics, Methodology in Applied Psychology. 21(3): 267-284.


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