Counteracting subliminal cues that threaten national identity
A new paper written by Jolien van Breen, Soledad de Lemus, Russell Spears & Toon Kuppens in the British Journal of Social Pscychology examines the impact of the 2008-2012 financial crisis on national identity in Spain.
- Jolien van Breen, Soledad de Lemus, Russell Spears & Toon Kuppens
- 22 June 2021
- Counteracting subliminal cues that threaten national identity
In spite of their subtle nature, subliminal cues of group devaluation can have profound effects on members of targeted groups. Across three studies, Van Breen, De Lemus, Spears & Kuppens examine factors that allow people to counteract subliminal cues of group devaluation. They do this in the context of Spanish–German intergroup relations following the 2008 financial crisis. Throughout the crisis, narratives in politics and the media have drawn on national stereotypes to legitimize the economic situation in Spain. Van Breen, De Lemus, Spears & Kuppens argue that this represents a threat to our Spanish participants and that exposure to subliminal cues that reflect this threat will trigger responses that counteract this threat. Indeed, results showed that when subliminal associations legitimize the disadvantage faced by the group, our Spanish participants reversed the subliminal associations to which they were exposed. These findings show that Spanish participants are able to counteract the devaluation of their national in-group, even when that devaluation occurs outside of conscious awarenes.