The negation bias in stereotype maintenance: A replication in five languages

Camiel J. Beukeboom*, Christian Burgers, Zsolt P. Szabó, Slavica Cvejic, Jan Erik M. Lönnqvist, Kasper Welbers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Research on linguistic biases shows that stereotypic expectancies are implicitly reflected in language and thereby subtly communicated to message recipients. Research on the Negation Bias shows that the use of negations (e.g., not stupid vs. smart) is more pronounced in descriptions of stereotype-inconsistent compared with stereotype-consistent behaviors. This article reports a replication study of the original research conducted in Dutch, using newly developed materials, and in five different languages: English, Dutch, Hungarian, Finnish, and Serbian. The results validate the existence of the Negation Bias in all five languages. This suggests that negation use serves a similar stereotype-maintaining function across language families.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-236
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Language and Social Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • intergroup communication
  • language
  • linguistic bias
  • negation
  • social category
  • stereotypes


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