Dehumanizing Groups with Less Education Undermines the Democratic Social Contract (76568)

Session Information:

Tuesday, 26 March 2024 15:30
Session: Poster Session 2
Room: Orion Hall (5F)
Presentation Type: Poster Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

Less educated people are viewed negatively and their opinions are belittled. Besides, along with other groups, they are underrepresented in the political arena which questions the legitimacy of democratic systems. Despite the existence of education-based devaluation, research on how people dehumanise individuals and groups with lesser education and minimise their democratic rights is scarce. In this project, we carried out a set of survey studies (correlational) in which we found that people consider the lesser-educated to be less than human compared to more-educated individuals and groups (Study 1a, N = 304) and that lesser-educated democratic rights (voting, running for office) should be restricted (Study 1b, N = 504) based on the opinion of the Spanish participants. Furthermore, in another correlational study, we identified that dehumanisation tendencies of the less (vs. highly) educated targets predict support for denying them voting rights or the capability to run for public candidacies in a set of regression analyses (Study 2, N = 447). Finally, we presented participants with information about fictitious targets (experimental study: low-, middle- and high-condition) and asked them to evaluate them: Results confirmed that lesser-educated targets were perceived as less human which in turn seemed to affect the denial of democratic rights to the target (Study 3, N = 470). These findings suggest that education-based dehumanisation might undermine the democratic rights of the lesser-educated groups thus endangering the foundations of democratic systems. The implications are severe as dehumanization is a key process that leads to excluding them, thus, eroding social cohesion.

Mario Sainz, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Spain

About the Presenter(s)
Dr Mario Sainz is a University Assistant Professor/Lecturer at Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED) in Spain

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00