#Fear of #Ebola: The #Influence of #Collectivism on #Xenophobic #Threat Responses (Psychol Sci., abstract)

[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Psychol Sci. 2016 May 20. pii: 0956797616642596. [Epub ahead of print]

Fear of Ebola: The Influence of Collectivism on Xenophobic Threat Responses.

Kim HS1, Sherman DK2, Updegraff JA3.

Author information: 1Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences, University of California, Santa Barbara. 2Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences, University of California, Santa Barbara heejung.kim@psych.ucsb.edu. 3Department of Psychological Sciences, Kent State University.



In response to the Ebola scare in 2014, many people evinced strong fear and xenophobia. The present study, informed by the pathogen-prevalence hypothesis, tested the influence of individualism and collectivism on xenophobic response to the threat of Ebola. A nationally representative sample of 1,000 Americans completed a survey, indicating their perceptions of their vulnerability to Ebola, ability to protect themselves from Ebola (protection efficacy), and xenophobic tendencies. Overall, the more vulnerable people felt, the more they exhibited xenophobic responses, but this relationship was moderated by individualism and collectivism. The increase in xenophobia associated with increased vulnerability was especially pronounced among people with high individualism scores and those with low collectivism scores. These relationships were mediated by protection efficacy. State-level collectivism had the same moderating effect on the association between perceived vulnerability and xenophobia that individual-level value orientation did. Collectivism-and the set of practices and rituals associated with collectivistic cultures-may serve as psychological protection against the threat of disease.

© The Author(s) 2016.

KEYWORDS: Ebola; collectivism-individualism; open data; open materials; risk perceptions; threat; xenophobia

PMID: 27207872 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Keywords: Research; Abstracts; Society; Ebola; USA.



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I am an Italian blogger, active since 2005 with main focus on emerging infectious diseases such as avian influenza, SARS, antibiotics resistance, and many other global Health issues. Other fields of interest are: climate change, global warming, geological and biological sciences. My activity consists mainly in collection and analysis of news, public services updates, confronting sources and making decision about what are the 'signals' of an impending crisis (an outbreak, for example). When a signal is detected, I follow traces during the entire course of an event. I started in 2005 my blog ''A TIME'S MEMORY'', now with more than 40,000 posts and 3 millions of web interactions. Subsequently I added an Italian Language blog, then discontinued because of very low traffic and interest. I contributed for seven years to a public forum (FluTrackers.com) in the midst of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014, I left the site to continue alone my data tracking job.

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