Do they feel the same as us? The infrahumanization of individuals with Down syndrome
Research on infrahumanization shows there is a strong tendency to deprive outgroups of the ability to experience secondary emotions when compared to ingroups. However, it is not known whether this tendency is also applied to social groups towards which ambivalent attitudes are held, such as individuals with Down syndrome. In the first study, participants were asked to attribute primary and secondary emotions to members of the ingroup (students) and outgroup (individuals with Down syndrome). The
... Down syndrome). The second study explored the effect of the physical features of Down syndrome on the differential association of emotions. A lexical decision task preceded by photographs of three face types (adults with Down syndrome, adults with ambiguous faces and adults without Down syndrome) was used for that purpose. The results showed a higher attribution of secondary emotions to members of the ingroup than to members of the outgroup. Also revealed that participants associated secondary emotions with the faces of adults without Down syndrome and with ambiguous faces far more quickly than with faces of individuals with Down syndrome. These results confirm the existence of infrahumanization bias and the effect of visibility of the stigma in this subtle type of prejudice.