Electromyographic Analyses of Responses to Intergroup Threat
Version of Record online: 17 JAN 2011
© 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 41, Issue 1, pages 196–218, January 2011
How to Cite
Davis, M. D. and Stephan, W. G. (2011), Electromyographic Analyses of Responses to Intergroup Threat. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 41: 196–218. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2010.00709.x
- Issue online: 17 JAN 2011
- Version of Record online: 17 JAN 2011
Two studies tested predictions from intergroup threat theory concerning emotional responses to intergroup threat. Study 1 employed threatening video clips of the 9/11/01 World Trade Center attacks. Study 2 employed video clips of a threatening “opponent” in a competition. Facial electromyography (EMG) was employed to capture emotion-related muscle activity. As participants viewed videos in Study 1, they were instructed to consider Americans' reactions or their personal reactions. In Study 2, an “opponent” presented individually directed or group-directed stereotype threat. Both studies provide support for the theory: Participants experiencing individual threats displayed greater EMG activity in muscles corresponding to inwardly directed emotions (fear), while participants experiencing group threats displayed greater EMG activity in muscles corresponding to outwardly directed emotions (anger).