Understanding victim group responses to hate crime: shared identities, perceived similarity and intergroup emotions

Jennifer Paterson, Rupert Brown, Mark Walters

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Abstract

Hate crimes against LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans) individuals have been shown to indirectly impact other members of the community (e.g., Noelle, 2002). However, as the LGBT ‘community’ is a diverse grouping of individuals with various sexual and gender identities, we examined experimentally whether reactions were enhanced when participants shared specific sub-identities with the victim (N=126). Results indicate that, while sub-group identities may be important, they do not affect the reactions to anti-LGBT hate crimes above and beyond the superordinate LGBT identity. Instead, further correlational analyses revealed that perceived similarity to the targeted characteristic better explains the community impacts of hate crimes. We show that this similarity increases empathy for the victim which, in turn, heightens subsequent emotional reactions and related behavioural responses. The results show the utility of adding intra-group perceptions to Intergroup Emotions Theory (e.g., Mackie & Smith, 2015) to better understand the community impacts of hate crimes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-177
Number of pages15
JournalTPM. Testing, Psychometrics, Methodology in Applied Psychology
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018

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