Of filthy pigs and subhuman mongrels: Dehumanization, disgust, and intergroup prejudice

Gordon Hodson*, Nour Kteily, Mark Hoffarth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


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 developments in research on both outgroup dehumanization and the emotion of (intergroup) disgust, factors increasingly receiving attention for their importance in explaining intergroup relations. We specifically 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 outgroups, particularly those foreign in nature). We conclude that: a) human outgroup prejudices (e.g., racism) 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., intergroup anxiety); c) the field needs to integrate dehumanization and disgust into existing theories of intergroup prejudice to better understand the ways we psychologically distance ourselves from outgroups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-284
Number of pages18
JournalTPM - Testing, Psychometrics, Methodology in Applied Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014


  • Animals
  • Dehumanization
  • Disgust
  • Infrahumanization
  • Prejudice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)


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