Kristof Dhont

Kristof Dhont
University of Kent | KENT · School of Psychology

PhD

About

75
Publications
78,631
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2,932
Citations
Citations since 2017
44 Research Items
2502 Citations
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Introduction
Kristof's research investigates the situational and personality factors that predict and sustain intergroup biases such as ethnic and gender-based prejudice as well as speciesism, with a special interest in ideological variables. He also investigates the factors that shape our perceptions and thinking about animals, the paradoxes in human-animal relations, and the moral psychology of eating and exploiting animals. He recently published the edited book Why We Love and Exploit Animals.

Publications

Publications (75)
Article
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Recent research and theorizing suggest that desires for group-based dominance underpin biases towards both human outgroups and (non-human) animals. A systematic study of the common ideological roots of human-human and human-animal biases is, however, lacking. Three studies (in Belgium, UK, and USA) tested the Social Dominance Human-Animal Relations...
Article
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People deeply value their social bonds with companion animals, yet routinely devalue other animals, considering them mere commodities to satisfy human interests and desires. Despite the inherently social and intergroup nature of these complexities, social psychology is long overdue in integrating human-animal relations in its theoretical frameworks...
Chapter
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Despite being animals, humans distance themselves physically and mentally from (most) other animals and prioritize human interests. We exploit other animals to feed, clothe, and entertain ourselves, to name just a few animal exploitation practices. Such discrimination against other species, or speciesism , is the central focus of the present chapte...
Article
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Scholars have long argued that sexism is partly rooted in dominance motives over animals and nature, with women being perceived as more animal-like and more closely connected to nature than men. Yet systematic research investigating these associations is currently lacking. Five studies (total N=2,409) consistently show that stronger beliefs in huma...
Article
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Most infectious diseases are zoonotic, “jumping” from animals to humans, with COVID-19 no exception. Although many zoonotic transmissions occur on industrial-scale factory farms, public discussions mainly blame wild animal (“wet”) markets or focus on reactionary solutions, posing a psychological obstacle to preventing future pandemics. In two pre-r...
Article
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Our relationships with other animals are governed by how we view their capacity for sentience and suffering. However, there is currently little agreement as to whether people's beliefs about animal minds are largely accurate or inaccurate. We used an innovative task to examine how people update their beliefs in response to noisy but informative clu...
Article
Images of sexualized women depicted as animals or alongside meat are routinely used in advertising in Western culture. Philosophers and feminist scholars have long theorized that such imagery reflects the lower status of both women and animals (vs. men) in society and argued that prejudiced attitudes towards women (i.e., sexism) and animals (i.e.,...
Article
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Speciesism, like other forms of prejudice, is thought to be underpinned by biased patterns of language use. Thus far, however, psychological science has primarily focused on how speciesism is reflected in individuals' thoughts as opposed to wider collective systems of meaning such as language. We present a large‐scale quantitative test of speciesis...
Article
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Animal minds are of central importance to debates about their rights and welfare. Remaining ignorant of evidence that animals have minds is therefore likely to facilitate their mistreatment. Studying samples of adults and students from the UK and US we found that, consistent with motivational perspectives on meat consumption, those who were more (v...
Preprint
Animal minds are of central importance to debates about their rights and welfare. Remaining ignorant of evidence that animals have minds is therefore likely to facilitate their mistreatment. Studying samples of adults and students from the UK and US we found that, consistent with motivational perspectives on meat consumption, those who were more (v...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic has extensively changed the state of psychological science from what research questions psychologists can ask to which methodologies psychologists can use to investigate them. In this article, we offer a perspective on how to optimize new research in the pandemic’s wake. Because this pandemic is inherently a social phenomenon—...
Article
Laboratory-grown (or "clean") meat is structurally similar to traditional meat yet comes with several environmental, health, and ethical benefits compared to regular meat. However, while some people are favorable towards clean meat, others are reluctant to engage with it. We tested whether these marked differences in clean meat acceptance are roote...
Article
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People typically extend limited moral standing to animals reared for food. Prominent perspectives in the literature on animal-human relations characterize this phenomenon as an outcome of moral disengagement: in other words, a strategy that protects people from moral self-condemnation. To provide a direct test of this hypothesis, we exposed people...
Article
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People endorsing stronger beliefs in human supremacy over animals typically show less moral concern for animals. Yet, how people think about different types of animals also depends on the role of the animals in society. For instance, people are less concerned about food animals than about companion animals. It is unclear, however, how human suprema...
Article
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People vary in their ability to understand, process, and manage information about one's own and others’ emotions, a construct known as Emotional Intelligence (EI). Past research highlighted the importance of EI in interpersonal relations as well as the key role of emotions underlying outgroup prejudice. Remarkably, hardly any research has investiga...
Preprint
Speciesism refers to the different moral standing given to species, and includes human supremacy over animals, and differentiations between animals, where companion animals are given higher moral standing than other species. Although it is clear that speciesism is culturally encoded, psychological science has revealed more about manifestations of s...
Article
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What drives people to lash out at others who choose to eschew eating animals out of compassion? And what does it say about those who get upset and angry when someone else decides to give up meat? Kristof Dhont and Joachim Stoeber on ideological pushback against the rise of veganism.
Article
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Historically and culturally, we have come to believe that meat is essential for strength, and traditional gender roles demand strength and toughness from men in particular. Real men eat meat…
Article
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Research suggests that animals’ capacity for agency, experience, and benevolence predict beliefs about their moral treatment. Four studies built on this work by examining how fine-grained information about animals’ traits and behaviours (e.g., can store food for later vs. can use tools) shifted moral beliefs about eating and harming animals. The in...
Article
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In a world characterized by divisive rhetoric, heightened xenophobia, and other forms of prejudice, it is increasingly important to find effective ways of promoting functional intergroup relations. Research on the relationship between intergroup contact and individual differences substantially contributes to achieving this goal. We review research...
Book
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This unique book brings together research and theorizing on human-animal relations, animal advocacy, and the factors underlying exploitative attitudes and behaviors towards animals. ------ Why do we both love and exploit animals? Assembling some of the world’s leading academics and with insights and experiences gleaned from those on the front lines...
Article
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Issues related to ethnic-cultural diversity often make the news headlines in popular media and have attracted extensive attention in the political arena, as well as in academic research in psychology, political sciences, and sociology. Political scientist Robert Putnam reported that increased diversity is associated with a range of negative outcome...
Article
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Negative attitudes toward vegetarians/vegans (i.e., veg*ns) are common, particularly among those who desire/like/consume meat more. In two studies, we replicated and extended past work, showing that visual reminders of meat’s animal origins (vs. images of meat alone) decreased meat consumption willingness via increased empathy for animals, distress...
Article
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The roles of authoritarianism, social dominance orientation (SDO), and prejudice in the prediction of far‐right support were examined in Europe and the United States. A meta‐analysis shows remarkably similar, positive, and strong associations of far‐right support with these three variables in previous studies conducted in Europe, the United Kingdom...
Article
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Intergroup contact is among the most effective ways to improve intergroup attitudes. While it is now beyond any doubt that contact can reduce prejudice, in this paper we provide evidence that its benefits can extend beyond intergroup relations – a process referred to as cognitive liberalization (Hodson, Crisp, Meleady & Earle, 2018). We focus speci...
Article
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Existing research highlights the roles of group identities and concerns about mass migration in explaining attitudes towards the European Union (EU). However, studies have been largely silent on whether EU attitudes are also shaped by people’s attitudes towards the principles and practices of supranational governance. This research provides a first...
Article
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Transgender individuals challenge the traditional assumption that an individual’s gender identity is permanently determined by their assigned sex at birth. Perceiving ambiguity surrounding indeterminate gender identities associated with transgender individuals may be especially disturbing for those who generally dislike ambiguity and have preferenc...
Article
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Putnam’s (2007) constrict claim states that ethnic diversity has serious consequences for social cohesion, making people distrustful and leery. The present contribution extends this claim by including political cynicism and trust as side effects of diversity. Moreover, we nuance this claim by considering citizens’ social-ideological attitudes as mo...
Article
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The current studies integrate different frameworks on the positive and negative consequences of ethnic diversity for intergroup relations. Using a nationally stratified sample of Dutch majority members (N = 680) from 50 cities in the Netherlands, Study 1 demonstrated that objective diversity was indirectly related to prejudice and to generalized, i...
Article
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Stronger beliefs in human supremacy over animals, and stronger perceived threat posed by vegetarianism to traditional practices, are associated with stronger speciesism and more meat consumption (Dhont & Hodson, 2014). Both variables might also be implicated in the moral exclusion of animals. We tested this potential in a 16‐month longitudinal stud...
Article
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Social-cultural and economic-hierarchical ideological attitudes have long been used to explain variation in political partisanship. We propose two additional, stable attitudes (political cynicism and ethnic prejudice) that may help explaining contemporary political alignments. In a Belgian (N = 509) and Dutch sample (N = 628), we showed that party...
Article
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Recent research demonstrates that intergroup contact effectively reduces prejudice even among prejudice-prone persons. But some assert that evidence regarding the benefits of contact among prejudice-prone individuals is “mixed,” particularly for those higher in social dominance orientation (SDO), one of the field’s most important individual differe...
Article
Epistemic motives and threat have been considered important bases of rightwing authoritarianism (RWA) for a long time. Yet, the interplay between these variables has hardly been investigated. The present study therefore examined how the interaction between dispositional need for closure (NFC) and perceived external threat, in addition to their main...
Article
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Previous research has obtained mixed findings as to whether feelings of self-worth are positively or negatively related to right-wing ideological beliefs and prejudice. We propose to clarify the link between self-worth and ideology by distinguishing between narcissistic and non-narcissistic self-evaluations as well as between different dimensions o...
Article
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High neuroticism and low agreeableness have been found to predict higher levels of aggression through an increase of negative emotions such as anger. However, previous research has only investigated these indirect associations for physical aggression, whereas evidence for such indirect effects on other types of aggression (i.e., verbal or indirect...
Article
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Previous research has shown that (1) positive intergroup contact with an advantaged group can discourage collective action among disadvantaged-group members and (2) positive intergroup contact can encourage advantaged-group members to take action on behalf of disadvantaged outgroups. Two studies investigated the effects of negative as well as posit...
Data
Table S1. Results (standardized estimates) of models testing the associations of narcissism with SDO (free of RWA) and RWA (free of SDO) (Studies1–4) and ethnic prejudice (Studies 2–4) without accounting for self‐esteem Table S2. Results (standardized estimates) of models testing the associations of self‐esteem with SDO (free of RWA) and RWA (free...
Article
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The present study investigated the role of authoritarianism in the association between the actual proportion of ethnic minorities (objective diversity) within a neighborhood and majority members' subjective perception thereof (perceived diversity). Additionally, we tested how authoritarianism affects the direct and indirect relationships between ob...
Preprint
Previous research has shown that (1) positive intergroup contact with an advantaged group can discourage collective action among disadvantaged-group members and (2) positive intergroup contact can encourage advantaged-group members to take action on behalf of disadvantaged outgroups. Two studies investigated the effects of negative as well as posit...
Article
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The cognitive functioning of individuals with stronger endorsement of right-wing and prejudiced attitudes has elicited much scholarly interest. Whereas many studies investigated cognitive styles, less attention has been directed towards cognitive ability. Studies investigating the latter topic generally reveal lower cognitive ability to be associat...
Article
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Using a representative sample of Belgian adolescents (N = 1530) and both their parents, we investigated the parent–child similarity in prejudice towards different out-groups and ideological attitudes (right-wing authoritarianism and social dominance orientation). Contrary to previous studies, first, we distinguished between common and specific comp...
Article
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Person-based factors influence a range of meaningful life outcomes, including intergroup processes, and have long been implicated in explaining prejudice. In addition to demonstrating significant heritability, person-based factors are evident in expressions of generalised prejudice, a robust finding that some people (relative to others) consistentl...
Article
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Historically, leading scholars proposed a theoretical negative association between cognitive abilities and prejudice. Until recently, however, the field has been relatively silent on this topic, citing concerns with potential confounds (e.g., education levels). Instead, researchers focused on other individual-difference predictors of prejudice, inc...
Article
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Previous studies have obtained divergent findings for the association between ethnic diversity and majority members' attitudes towards immigrants, suggesting that this relationship is moderated by individual or contextual difference variables. In a community sample of Dutch citizens (N = 399), we investigated the role of two potential moderators: r...
Article
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Despite the well-documented implications of right-wing ideological dispositions for human intergroup relations, surprisingly little is understood about the implications for human–animal relations. We investigate why right-wing ideologies – social dominance orientation (SDO) and right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) – positively predict attitudes toward...
Article
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Recent theorizing suggests that biases toward human outgroups may be related to biases toward (non-human) animals, and that individual differences in desire for group dominance and inequality may underlie associations between these biases. The present investigation directly tests these assumptions. As expected, the results of the current study (N =...
Article
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Two studies investigated the role of personality factors in the amelioration of outgroup attitudes via intergroup contact. In study 1, the effect of extraversion on outgroup attitude operated via an increase in cross-group friendship, whereas openness to experience and agreeableness had a direct effect on outgroup attitude. In study 2, we included...
Article
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The interplay between threat and right-wing attitudes has received much research attention, but its longitudinal relationship has hardly been investigated. In this study, we investigated the longitudinal relationships between internal and external threats and right-wing attitudes using a cross-lagged design at three different time points in a large...
Article
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Social dominance orientation (SDO) has been reported to be strongly related to a multitude of intergroup phenomena, but little is known about situational experiences that may influence SDO. Drawing from research on intergroup contact theory, we argue that positive intergroup contact is able to reduce SDO-levels. The results of an intergroup contact...
Article
The present study revealed age-related differences in ethnic prejudice in a heterogeneous (total N = 1,308) and a representative (N = 800) sample, using measures of blatant and subtle prejudice. The relationship between age and blatant and subtle prejudice was found to be fully mediated by right-wing social-cultural attitudes (i.e. authoritarianism...
Article
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Previous research has identified need for closure (NFC) as an important motivational-cognitive basis of authoritarianism and prejudice. However, to date, the role of NFC in the intergenerational similarity in authoritarianism and prejudice has remained unclear. In a sample of 169 parent–child dyads, we investigated the similarity between parents an...
Article
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The relationship between right-wing ideological attitudes and psychological well-being has been intensively studied. Although some studies supported the hypothesis that right-wing attitudes are negatively related with well-being, other research yielded positive or nonsignificant relationships. We conducted a meta-analysis (total samples = 97, total...
Article
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The effect of the intergroup climate on acculturation preferences among host-majority and immigrant group members has been long acknowledged in the acculturation literature. Only recently, however, research has started to directly examine the effect of the intergroup climate on acculturation preferences. In the present research, we aimed to contrib...
Article
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The high level of political cynicism in contemporary society is often considered a serious threat to democracy. The concept, however, has received only scant attention in psychology. The current work introduces political cynicism and extensively explores its psychological implications by investigating the concept's validity, predictive utility and...
Article
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Previous studies on the relationship between threat and right-wing attitudes have tended to focus on either internal threat, emanating from one's private life, or external threat, originating from society. However, these studies failed to examine whether these types of threats constitute two distinctive dimensions and which of these threats is most...
Article
The present paper explores the effect of the salience of collective consequences of opportunistic behavior in commons and anticommons dilemmas. Making this type of externalities salient was expected to increase the awareness of the conflict between collective and personal interests, especially in the anticommons dilemma. The results of a vignette s...
Article
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The present research investigated the antecedents of ambivalent sexism (i.e., hostile and benevolent forms) in both men and women toward own and other gender. In two heterogeneous adult samples (Study 1: N = 179 and Study 2: N = 222), it was revealed that gender itself was only a minor predictor of sexist attitudes compared with the substantial imp...
Article
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The present study focused on the buffering role of positive intergroup contact in the intergenerational transmission of authoritarianism and racial prejudice in a sample of adolescents and one of their parents. In accordance with our expectations, adolescents' intergroup contact experiences moderated the mediated relationships between parental auth...
Article
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Longitudinal effects of intergroup contact on prejudice were investigated in a sample of 65 young adults (Sample 1) and a sample of their close friends (Sample 2, N= 172), adopting a full cross-lagged panel design. We first validated the self-report measure of intergroup contact from Sample 1 with observer ratings from Sample 2 by demonstrating tha...
Article
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Using a representative sample of Dutch adults (N = 1238), we investigated the moderating influence of direct contact and authoritarianism on the potential of extended contact to reduce prejudice. As expected, direct contact and authoritarianism moderated the effect of extended contact on prejudice. Moreover, the third-order moderation effect was al...
Article
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The present study investigates patterns of event-related brain potentials following the presentation of attitudinal stimuli among political moderates (N = 12) and anarchists (N = 11). We used a modified oddball paradigm to investigate the evaluative inconsistency effect elicited by stimuli embedded in a sequence of contextual stimuli with an opposi...
Article
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Five studies tested whether need for closure (NFC) moderates the relation between intergroup contact and prejudice toward immigrants. The results consistently showed that intergroup contact was more strongly associated with reduced levels of prejudice among people high in NFC compared to people low in NFC. Studies 1 (N = 138 students) and 2 (N = 29...
Article
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In a sample of Flemish police officers (N=172), we examined whether interracial public-police contact is associated with police officers racial and work-related attitudes and self-reported behavior. Complementing previous studies, it was revealed that interracial contact (both positive and negative) is related to prejudiced behavior toward immigran...
Article
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In two Flemish samples (N = 215 and N = 90) two competing hypotheses concerning the simultaneous effects of intergroup contact and authoritarianism on prejudice were tested. While it has been suggested that authoritarianism may hinder the reduction of prejudice through intergroup contact, it has also been proposed that intergroup contact can be esp...
Article
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This study questions the effectiveness of masking faces by means of pixelation on television or in newspapers. Previous studies have shown that masking just the face leads to unacceptably high recognition levels, making it likely that participants also use other cues for recognition. such as hairstyle or clothes. In the current study we investigate...