20 February 2019 - 11 h 00 min
20 February 2019 - 12 h 30 min
Address30 Avenue Antoine Depage - 1050 Brussels (Room DC8.322 - 8th floor, Building D, Campus Solbosch of the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences - Université Libre de Bruxelles) View map
The epidemics of hate speech? The dynamics and emotional nature of derogatory language
Pr. Michal Bilewicz (University of Warsaw)
Abstract: Exposure to violent language about minorities and immigrant groups increases prejudice and leads to discriminatory behavior. As an effect, people exposed to hate speech use it more often. This suggest that hate speech can spread in an epidemic way. I propose that the mechanism through which hate speech spreads in the society is desensitization – the same process that makes other forms of aggression spread in a population. Two large scale correlational studies, an experimental study and a psycho-physiological study provide evidence for the desensitization processes that occur in the proliferation of hate speech in contemporary social media and political discourse. At the same time, we try to study emotional mechanisms of hate speech. Based on the theory of intergroup emotions, I propose that derogatory language elicits and is caused by contempt rather than hate itself, therefore we should speak about “contempt speech” rather than “hate speech”.