La infrahumanización de grupos estigmatizadosel caso del síndrome de down.

  1. Ariño Mateo, Eva
Supervised by:
  1. Verónica Betancor Rodríguez Director
  2. Naira Delgado Rodríguez Co-director

Defence university: Universidad de La Laguna

Fecha de defensa: 22 June 2016

  1. María de las Nieves Quiles del Castillo Chair
  2. Saulo Fernández Arregui Secretary
  3. Marco Brambilla Committee member
  1. Psicología Cognitiva, Social y Organizacional

Type: Thesis

Teseo: 423478 DIALNET lock_openRIULL editor


The term stigma stems from marks on the slaves who showed infamy, disgrace and moral turpitude of the wearer. Subsequently, from a psychosocial perspective, stigma has been identified as a mark, signal or sign, overt or not, that includes their members in a social category and generates a negative response to them (Marichal & Quiles, 2000). According with the visibility of stigma, people with Trisomy 21 have a higher risk of being socially rejected because they have physical signals that reflect their psychological stigma. Goffman (1963) said that stigma explains the inferiority and the danger of its wearer. The author also claimed that by definition people believe that the person with stigma is not quite human. This thesis is based on infrahumanisation theory, and analyses the degree of humanity attributed to people with Down syndrome. Infrahumanisation theory postulates that people attribute human characteristics (secondary emotions) to their own group and restrict this possibility to the outgroups, attributing emotions that humans and animals share (Leyens et al., 2000, 2001). Infrahumanisation focuses on secondary emotions and states that the attribution of fewer secondary emotions to the outgroup (compared to the ingroup) is a subtle way to deny their full humanity (Leyens Rodriguez-Perez, Rodriguez-Torres, Paladino & Vaes, 2001). This perspective has been the basis of different empirical studies that are part of this work. The chapters included in this thesis focus on knowing how is the social perception of people with Down syndrome, as well as the differential factors of prejudice towards them. Through various investigations, it is shown the perception of society towards this group stigmatized and places the focus of attention on stereotypes associated with their condition, the attitudinal response, and emotional reactions that the members of the category of syndrome generate. Furthermore, we analyze the attribution of human traits to people with Down syndrome, and the different metaphors (child or animal) that are associated with this social group.