How Do We Perceive “Aliens”? : About the Implicit Processes Underlying the Perception of People With Alien Paraphernalia

Faculty/Professorship: General Psychology and Methodology  
Author(s): Carbon, Claus-Christian  ; Brandenstein, Nils; Gebauer, Fabian
Title of the Journal: Frontiers in psychology
ISSN: 1664-1078
Publisher Information: Lausanne, Schweiz : Frontiers Media SA
Year of publication: 2019
Volume: 10
Pages: 10
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01551
People often draw trait assessments of unfamiliar persons on the basis of minimal visual information like facial features. Most studies focus on explicit person evaluations, even though automatic processes of perception are the underlying basis. Furthermore, previous experiments on automatic processes only address very general levels of association. We conducted two experiments employing the multidimensional IAT (md-IAT) to examine automatic processes of perception in a more differentiated way, testing essential variables that are often used to characterize aliens. Results show that personality trait associations of people perceived and categorized as aliens (acquired solely through usage of paraphernalia) are not consistently negative in comparison to more familiar-looking people but might point to the core variables of xenophobic stereotypes (e.g., being aggressive, threatening, and untrustworthy). Proceeding in revealing such variables and testing them might help to understand the main cognito-emotive pattern behind xenophobia and help challenging and tackling stereotypes against aliens.
Keywords: perception, aliens, personality trait, social attitude, automatic processes
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Open Access Journal: Ja
Type: Article
Release Date: 12. January 2023
In supplemented by: uniba/53160
Project: Open-Access-Publikationsfonds 2012-2020