Dehumanization and guilt as distinct but related predictors of support for reparation policies

Sven Zebel*, Anja Zimmermann, G. Tendayi Viki, Bertjan Doosje

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)


In two studies, we predicted that support for reparation policies would be influenced positively by feelings of group-based guilt and negatively by dehumanization of the outgroup. We also hypothesized that a valence manipulation of the ingroup's behavior would cause differences in such support which would be mediated by guilt. In the first study, we manipulated the valence of past ingroup behavior and assessed guilt, dehumanization, and reparation support. As expected, guilt predicted positively and dehumanization negatively participants' support. In addition, guilt partially mediated the manipulation effects on policy support. Consistent with previous research, guilt and dehumanization were unrelated. In Study 2, we assessed individual differences in dehumanization before the manipulation and examined their associations with guilt and reparation support. Initial analyses replicated Study 1. In addition, guilt partially mediated the influence of dehumanization on reparation support. Results suggest that the presence of guilt motivates support for reparation policies, while the absence of guilt explains in part why individual differences in dehumanization inhibit such support.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-219
Number of pages27
JournalPolitical psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Dehumanization
  • Group-based guilt
  • Policy attitudes
  • Reparation
  • Valence
  • n/a OA procedure


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