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© 2015, © The Author(s) 2015. The present research addressed for the first time conditions under which linguistic out-group derogation can be hindered by increasing the qualitative and quantitative complexity of out-group members categorization. An analysis was made of the spontaneous language used to describe counterstereotypic versus stereotypic portrayals of Romanians (Study 1) and multiple versus single categorizations of immigrants (Study 2). Results showed that counterstereotypic and multiple categorization of highly discriminated targets decreased the level of abstraction of negative terms used, thus reducing out-group linguistic derogation. Furthermore, multiple versus single categorization effect on linguistic derogation toward immigrants was mediated by individuation of immigrants and moderated by intergroup contact. The implications of the sociocognitive interventions used and intergroup contact in hindering linguistic out-group derogation are discussed.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Language and Social Psychology

Publication Date





475 - 500