Emanuele Castano

Emanuele Castano
Università degli Studi di Trento | UNITN · Department of Psychology and Cognitive Science

Ph.D.

About

80
Publications
88,298
Reads
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4,873
Citations
Citations since 2016
28 Research Items
2923 Citations
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20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400

Publications

Publications (80)
Article
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Our ability to infer and understand others’ thoughts and feelings, known as theory of mind (ToM), has important consequences across the life span, supporting empathy, pro-social behavior, and coordination in groups. Socialization practices and interpersonal interactions help develop this capacity, and so does engaging with fiction. Research suggest...
Article
International Image Theory (IIT) suggests that individuals maintain holistic images of other countries that are akin to schemas, or stereotypes, and that these national images shape both attitudes and foreign policy preferences. Previous research has manipulated national images via explicit descriptions of fictitious countries and found initial evi...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding others’ mental states is a crucial skill that enables the complex social relationships that characterize human societies. Yet little research has investigated what fosters this skill, which is known as Theory of Mind (ToM), in adults. We present five experiments showing that reading literary fiction led to better performance on tests...
Article
In the post-9/11 era, the label “asymmetric wars” has often been used to question the relevance of certain aspects of international humanitarian law (IHL); to push for redefining the combatant/civilian distinction; and to try to reverse accepted norms such as the bans on torture and assassination. In this piece, we focused on legal and policy discu...
Article
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The present research examines how awareness of violence perpetrated against an out-group by one's in-group can intensify the infrahumanization of the out-group, as measured by a reduced tendency to accord uniquely human emotions to out-groups. Across 3 experiments that used different in-groups (humans, British, White Americans) and out-groups (alie...
Presentation
Full-text available
Storytelling has played a crucial role in human evolution. To this day, through stories we gain declarative and procedural knowledge, and we learn the skills that support learning itself. Reading stories to children enhances their reading and language skills. Does it also enhance their intelligence? To answer this question we conducted a longitudin...
Book
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Il libro, che nasce dall’esigenza di fare il punto sui risultati e sui metodi della ricerca empirica relativa alla lettura ad alta voce, riproduce cinque studi condotti in diverse parti del mondo, scelti in modo da essere rappresentativi di differenti orientamenti e metodi di indagine, oltre che di prestigiose riviste internazionali ad accesso lib...
Presentation
Full-text available
Abstract. The Sense of Ownership (SoO) and the Sense of Agency (SoA) are two components of bodily Self-Consciousness. The SoO is the feeling that our body belongs to us (Gallagher, 2000), while the SoA is the experience of executing and controlling an action (Moore et al., 2012). SoO and SoA can occur independently and show mutual reinforcement (Ka...
Article
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Nonverbal markers of childhood trauma have been identified in the literature. Yet, the relationship between childhood trauma and the voice is still largely unexplored. We report preliminary findings from a study (N = 48) that investigated whether self-reported childhood trauma is related to acoustic measures on sustained phonation before and after...
Article
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We investigated the impact of exposure to literary and popular fiction on psychological essentialism. Exposure to fiction was measured by using the Author Recognition Test, which allows us to separate exposure to authors of literary and popular fiction. Psychological essentialism was assessed by the discreteness subscale of the psychological essent...
Article
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Research shows that reading literary but not popular fiction enhances the Theory of Mind (ToM). This article builds on the symmetry between literary theory and film theory and investigates whether exposure to art films, but not Hollywood films, enhances ToM. Participants (N = 232) were randomly assigned to view either art or Hollywood films and the...
Article
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We investigated the relationship between empathy, prosocial behavior, and frequency of humane interactions with animals among 3 rd grade children (n = 158). We measured the frequency of humane interactions with animals via the Children’s Treatment of Animals Questionnaire ( Thompson & Gullone, 2003 ), empathy via the Bryant Index of Empathy for Chi...
Article
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We investigated the effects of long-term exposure to literary and popular fiction on attributional complexity, egocentric bias and accuracy. Results of a pre-registered study showed that exposure to literary fiction is positively associated with scores on the attributional complexity scale. Literary fiction is also associated with accuracy in menta...
Article
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We report findings from an empirical study (N 􏰀 339) of the attitudes and behavior of combatants from four conflict-ridden countries (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia, Republic of the Congo, and Colombia) who were surveyed by delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross. The study focuses on violations of international humanitarian law (IHL...
Poster
https://www.thenonprofittimes.com/technology/virtual-reality-empathy-doesnt-have-staying-power/
Article
Full-text available
This study was aimed at exploring the role of the Fulbright program in building perception about U.S. and Americans among Pakistani Fulbright scholars. While a host of theory and research had been growing on contact theory (Allport, 1954; Pettigrew and Tropp, 2008), application of contact hypothesis to cultural exchange programs based on foreign po...
Preprint
Despite a growing literature on the consequences of group-based guilt and shame, little work has examined how expressions of self-conscious emotions are received by targets of collective wrongdoing. Two experiments tested the hypothesis that when an outgroup member offers apologies accompanied by reparations, the recipients are likely to take insul...
Poster
Is effort the key for increasing empathy? A variety of empathy training techniques have been successfully used to improve our ability to understand and share another’s feelings. The present research investigates whether, like a muscle, empathy requires effort to be exercised. In a two phase study, pairs of strangers completed a referential communic...
Article
Scholars from diverse disciplines have proposed that reading fiction improves intersubjective capacities. Experiments have yielded mixed evidence that reading literary fiction improves performance on the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test, a test of Theory of Mind. Three preregistered experiments revealed mixed results. Applying the “small telescope...
Article
Full-text available
Collective responsibility processes have been investigated from the perspectives of the outgroup (e.g. collective blame) and the ingroup (e.g. collective guilt). This paper extends theory and research on collective responsibility with a third perspective, namely that of the individual actor whose behavior triggers the attribution of collective blam...
Article
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This policy brief shares findings of a survey experiment that explored youth's opinion about the United States regarding proposals of reparations to the victims of drone strikes in Pakistan. The survey consisted of 1,138 students, aged between 17 and 29 years from various universities in Pakistan. They responded to the reaction of a United States r...
Article
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We examined the relationship between cognitive style empathy and willingness to help. In Study 1 (N = 186) we measured preference for visuospatial or verbal cognitive style using the ZenQ (Zenhausern, 1978), and empathy using the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (Davis, 1983). In Study 2 (N = 76), we experimentally elicited verbal or visual cognitive...
Article
Contrary to Kidd and Castano (2013), Panero et al. (2016) fail to find that reading literary fiction improves performance on an advanced test of theory of mind (ToM), the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test (RMET; Baron-Cohen, Wheelwright, Hill, Raste, & Plumb, 2001). However, this commentary shows that the findings presented in Panero et al. (2016)...
Article
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Torture can be opposed on the basis of pragmatic (e.g., torture does not work) or moral arguments (e.g., torture violates human rights). Three studies investigated how these arguments affect U.S. citizens' attitudes toward U.S.-committed torture. In Study 1, participants expressed stronger demands for redressing the injustice of torture when presen...
Article
Storytelling is a hallmark human activity. We use stories to make sense of the world, to explain it to our children, to create communities, and to learn about others. This article focuses on fictional stories and their impact on complex sociocognitive abilities. Correlational and experimental evidence shows that exposure to fiction recruits and hon...
Article
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Many people in the major Western economies (e.g., United States, UK, and Germany) subscribe to free market ideology (FMI), which claims that institutional oversight of the market is unnecessary for public reaction can force corporations to regulate their own behavior. The question then becomes how people's belief in FMI affects their reactions to c...
Article
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Research shows that negative experiences in childhood have a long-lasting impact on one's psychological outcomes and one's physiology. The voice is a crucial means of expression, and its complex physiology is believed to be reflective of emotional and mental states. Parenting practices (particularly those contributing to insecure attachment) and tr...
Article
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Contemplating the inevitability of one’s own death can deeply affect a person’s subjective sense of control, eliciting symbolic responses to restore control through cultural worldview defense. Re-search supporting this perspective has shown that reminders of one’s own death (i.e., uncontrol-lable death) can increase worldview defense, whereas self-...
Article
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We review and integrate existing literature on perceptions of humanness and dehumanization. Synthesizing three independent lines of research (Haslam's two senses of humanness, mind perception theory, the stereotype content model), we provide a taxonomy of different phenomena (e.g., animalistic and mechanistic dehumanization, objectification, demoni...
Article
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A burgeoning literature has established that exposure to atrocities committed by in-group members triggers moral-disengagement strategies. There is little research, however, on how such moral disengagement affects the degree to which conversations shape people's memories of the atrocities and subsequent justifications for those atrocities. We built...
Article
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Being rejected, excluded, or simply ignored is a painful experience. Ostracism researchers have shown its powerful negative consequences (Williams, 200739. Williams , K. ( 2007 ). Ostracism: The kiss of social death . Social and Personality Psychology Compass , 1 , 236 – 237 . doi: 10.1111/j.1751-9004.2007.00004 [CrossRef]View all references), and...
Article
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Research findings on Image Theory show that political orientation moderates Italians' endorsement of explicit images of America; in fact, left-wingers see Americans as barbarians, while right-wingers describe them according to the images of father and ally. The present study aims at investigating whether the same divide occurs when images are asses...
Article
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The desire for justice can escalate or facilitate resolution of intergroup conflicts. Two studies investigated retributive and restorative notions of justice as the mediating factor of the effect of perceived outgroup sentience-an aspect of (mechanistic) dehumanization referring to the emotional depth attributed to others-on intergroup conflict res...
Article
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Building on magical contagion literature, we show that the way in which money is acquired colors the perception of the money itself, and thus affect the way it is spent. In a hypothetical scenario participants who imagined acquiring money immorally (versus morally) experienced more guilt about the way in which they acquired it and spent less of it....
Article
We propose morality shifting as a mechanism through which individuals can maintain a moral image of the ingroup. We argue that a shift from the moral principles of harm and fairness to those of loyalty and authority occurs when assessing a potentially threatening event, particularly among high ingroup glorifiers. Three studies confirmed this hypoth...
Article
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In this chapter a broadened perspective on antisocial behavior is proposed, which includes not only what is customarily considered antisocial behavior (e.g., aggression, theft, bullying) but also prejudice and discrimination toward outgroup members. This broadening is balanced by a narrowing of the causal factors that are considered, with an exclus...
Chapter
(from the chapter) We discuss here three ways in which moral uncertainty surrounding violent acts can be reduced, encouraging direct and indirect support for violence, before and after the fact. Although inspired by Bandura's theory of moral disengagement, we focus here on the contexts involved in extremist violence. We also want to clarify the ter...
Article
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Ideological beliefs have long attracted the attention of social psychologists, who have investigated their genesis as well as their influence on a host of social phenomena. Conservatism, from the Motivated Social Cognition framework, stems from epistemic and existential needs of the individual, and notably the fear of death. However, Terror Managem...
Article
Objectification theory posits that as a result of pervasive sexual objectification of the female body in American culture, women are socialized to take an observers' perspective towards the self, resulting in self-objectification. This tendency, combined with an objectifying context, is hypothesized to increase cognitive load, thereby impairing per...
Article
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What aspects of ingroup identification can lead people to resist justice for the victims of their ingroup's mistreatment? In three studies carried out in the United States and United Kingdom, in which participants read reports of mistreatment of prisoners and civilians by coalition troops in the Iraq war, ingroup glorification, but not ingroup atta...
Article
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Is it possible to reach a subconscious acceptance of death? Building on Terror Management Theory, the authors investigated in-group identification and cultural worldview among two groups of Hindus with naturally occurring high (N = 120) versus low (N = 120) death exposure. In each group, half were reminded about death and the other half of a contro...
Article
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Previous research has found that people collectively wronged by an outgroup take insult when its representative offers compensation, and that an expression of shame but not guilt can lower such insult. This experiment showed a moderating factor: strength of outgroup blame. Black community members were participants, presented with an apology for dis...
Article
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We examined the attribution of primary and secondary emotions in the context of equal status groups with a non-conflictual relationship, that is, Germans and French. In Study 1 (N = 169), we found that in such an intergroup context, there was no differential attribution of secondary emotions but an over-attribution of primary emotions to the out-gr...
Article
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In this paper, which is the introduction to the special issue ‘Dehumanization: Humanity and its Denial,’ we present a brief overview of social psychological research on the concept of dehumanization and infrahumanization. Focusing on the findings and theorizing of the special issue articles we discuss the relation between these two concepts, their...
Article
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The perception of groups as real entities rather than mere aggregates of individuals has important consequences on intergroup relations. Social psychological research, in fact, shows that it affects stereotyping, identification process, and intergroup bias. Previous research has also shown that group entitativity is not a positive or negative group...
Article
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Building on research indicating that the denial of uniquely human emotions is tantamount to infra-humanization, a study assessed whether liberal and conservative Caucasian participants would attribute uniquely human emotions differently to a Hispanic versus Caucasian target after a hurricane. Results showed that whereas participants who self-identi...
Article
Public transgressions by group members threaten the public image of a group when outside observers perceive them as representative of the group in general. In three studies, we tested the effectiveness of rejection of a deviant group member who made a racist comment in public, and compared this to several other strategies the group could employ to...
Article
The present study examines the effects of contact and common-ingroup identification on intergroup forgiveness and outgroup behavioral tendencies. A sample of Bosnian Muslims (N = 180) were asked to report their readiness to forgive the misdeeds committed by Bosnian Serbs during the 1992–95 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. A path analysis of the presu...
Article
Full-text available
In this contribution, respect for international humanitarian law among combatants is considered from a social psychological perspective. According to this perspective, the social identities derived by individuals from their membership of social groups provide norms and values used by the individual to interpret events, form opinions and decide upon...
Article
Despite a growing literature on the consequences of group-based guilt and shame, little work has examined how expressions of self-conscious emotions are received by targets of collective wrongdoing. Two experiments tested the hypothesis that when an outgroup member offers apologies accompanied by reparations, the recipients are likely to take insul...
Article
Full-text available
The moral disengagement strategies that individuals use when appraising misdeeds committed by their in-groups (e.g., nations) are discussed, with a particular focus on the process of dehumanization of the victims. The glorification of the in-group is identified as a main determinant of the use of such strategies, which, in turn, affect behavioral i...
Article
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Stereotype threat effects occur when members of a stigmatized group perform poorly on a task because they fear confirming a negative stereotype that is associated with their ingroup. The present study investigates whether the observed achievement gap in standardized testing between high- and low-socioeconomic status (SES) American students can be d...
Article
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This study explored whether attitudes toward the natural environment are affected by self-reported conservatism. Political ideology was measured with three items measuring general, social and fiscal conservatism/liberalism. Environmental attitudes were measured by using LaTrobe and Ascot's (2000) Modified New Environmental Paradigm (NEP)/Dominant S...
Article
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This chapter investigates the role of social identification in the management of human beings' existential concerns. We begin by presenting an overview of Terror Management Theory (TMT). This theory addresses the mechanisms that individuals have developed to prevent, or at least lessen, the anxiety deriving from the uniquely human ability to forese...
Article
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Being member of a disadvantaged group is a threatening experience. One way to deal with this threat is to increase similarity and cohesiveness with other group members. Applied to habits and preferences, we hypothesized that a disadvantaged group would be more homogeneous than an advantaged group. We conducted a questionnaire study in which we aske...
Article
The moderating role of group identification on infra-humanization of the out-group is investigated. Participants (N = 74), all Italian students, were asked to describe two national groups, Italians and Germans, by selecting from a list of characteristics those that were typical of each group. In the list, among other words, there were some primary...
Article
An experiment investigated whether the enhanced importance of the ingroup as a consequence of the salience of death thoughts is a unconscious defense mechanism. Scottish participants were subliminally primed with either the word death or field. Subsequently, they were asked to classify a series of pictures as either English or Scottish, and to stat...
Article
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It is argued that the entitativity of the ingroup moderates the level of identification with the ingroup. Specifically, that high levels of entitativity are conducive to strong identification, whereas low levels of entitativity reduce identification with the ingroup. These hypotheses were tested across four studies using the European Union (EU) as...
Article
In an international relations context, the mutual images held by actors affect their mutual expectations about the Other's behavior and guide the interpretation of the Other's actions. Here it is argued that the effect of these images is moderated by the degree of entitativity of the Other—that is, the extent to which it is perceived as a real enti...
Article
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In two experiments, we investigated the impact of the presentation of a deviant ingroup member on the perception of the ingroup among participants who differed in their degree of identification with the ingroup. In Study 1, we measured psychology students' level of identification with the group of psychologists (i.e. the ingroup) and presented them...
Article
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An experiment was conducted to examine the impact of identification with the in-group on the categorization of pictures depicting in-group and out-group faces. Findings showed that high identifiers classified fewer pictures as in-group members than did low identifiers. High and low identifiers also differed in their categorization latencies. Wherea...
Article
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Merging insights from the intergroup relations literature and terror management theory, the authors conducted an experiment in which they assessed the impact of death-related thoughts on a series of ingroup measures. Participants in the mortality-salience condition displayed stronger ingroup identification, perceived greater ingroup entitativity, a...
Article
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Research on the Black Sheep effect (Marques, Yzerbyt, & Leyens, 1988) suggests that motivational factors such as the level of identification with the ingroup influences the way people react against negative ingroup members. The present study tested the idea that people may invest a sizable amount of cognitive resources to protect their view of the...