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Abstract

This research tested the infra-humanization hypothesis that uniquely human emotions (e.g., love, sorrow) are automatically more linked in memory with the in-group than with the out-group. No such difference is expected for non-uniquely human emotions (e.g., joy, sadness) which pertain to everybody, including animals. Two studies using semantic primes followed by visual person categorization task (PCT) and lexical (lexical decision task, LDT) targets were conducted. Results supported infra-humanization theory. Reaction times were faster for the in-group/secondary emotions associations than for out-group/secondary emotions ones. As predicted, no difference in latency times appeared for primary emotions as a function of the groups. These findings elucidate the ambiguity present in Paladino et al. (2002). Theoretical and practical implications are suggested. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.