Cognitive Dissonance, Humanization, Empathy, Stereotypes


One of the first steps in intergroup conflict resolution is to humanize the "enemy" or outgroup. Unfortunately, this humanization often fails. My goal in this paper is to answer the following question: Why does positive information about a group sometimes lead to negative responses? Specifically, this paper tests three hypotheses. First, I hypothesize that Individuals with high ingroup-centric beliefs will react differently to the treatments compared to individuals with low ingroup-centric beliefs. Second, I hypothesize that individuals who experience dissonance as a result of the treatments will react negatively to the treatments. Finally, I hypothesize that the framing of these images has an effect on the magnitude of respondent’s negative responses. The study finds that certain types of treatments work better for either low or high ICB groups. It is possible to increase empathy and humanization in both high and low ICB individuals.


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Class Project or Paper

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Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Political Science

University Standing at Time of Publication



POLI 450