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Semantic contact and semantic barriers: reactionary responses to disruptive ideas

Gillespie, Alex ORCID: 0000-0002-0162-1269 (2020) Semantic contact and semantic barriers: reactionary responses to disruptive ideas. Current Opinion in Psychology, 35. 21 - 25. ISSN 2352-250X

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.copsyc.2020.02.010


Revolutions are not only fought in the streets, they are also fought at the level of ideas. I conceptualize how ideas collide in people’s thought, talk and texts as semantic contact. The focus of my review is to identify how people use semantic barriers to subdue disruptive ideas attributed to outgroups in terms of three layers of defense. Avoiding entails denying outgroups any perspective. Delegitimizing entails acknowledging the perspectives of outgroups but dismissing them as uninformed or deceptive. Limiting entails acknowledging some validity in the outgroup perspective but isolating and rationalizing the implications. The reviewed research reveals that the outgroup is not only ‘out there’ but also lurks within the self’s talk and thought, being resisted and suppressed in proportion to its disruptive potential.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2020 Elsevier Ltd.
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2020 10:21
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2024 21:09

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