Posted by & filed under Member Publications.

The (randomly) selected focus publication for September 2019 is:

Sampasivam, S., Collins, K., Bielajew, C., & Clément, R. (2018). Intergroup threat and the linguistic intergroup bias: A stress biomarker study. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 36(6), 632-655. doi:10.1177/0261927X18799807


This study investigates the physiological consequences of derogation. In the face of an ingroup threat, an opportunity to derogate the outgroup is associated with increases in salivary cortisol, a stress biomarker. These findings support the intergroup anxiety model, which suggests that following an anxiety-inducing threatening experience, outgroup evaluations can amplify emotional reactions and stress. In this study, we investigated whether threatened participants who derogated would show higher cortisol levels. Canadian undergraduates (N = 169) read either a threatening or favourable passage about Canadians. They then engaged in either a linguistic intergroup bias (LIB) or control task. Salivary samples were collected prethreat, postthreat, and posttask. The results suggest that ingroup threat was associated with increases in cortisol levels. Threatened participants who displayed LIB showed higher cortisol levels than those who were threatened and did not show LIB. These findings illustrate the importance of incorporating a neuroscientific approach.