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Gene × environment interaction on intergroup bias: the role of 5-HTTLPR and perceived outgroup threat.
Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci 2014; 9(9):1268-75SC

Abstract

Perceived threat from outgroups is a consistent social-environmental antecedent of intergroup bias (i.e. prejudice, ingroup favoritism). The serotonin transporter gene polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) has been associated with individual variations in sensitivity to context, particularly stressful and threatening situations. Here, we examined how 5-HTTLPR and environmental factors signaling potential outgroup threat dynamically interact to shape intergroup bias. Across two studies, we provide novel evidence for a gene-environment interaction on the acquisition of intergroup bias and prejudice. Greater exposure to signals of outgroup threat, such as negative prior contact with outgroups and perceived danger from the social environment, were more predictive of intergroup bias among participants possessing at least one short allele (vs two long alleles) of 5-HTTLPR. Furthermore, this gene x environment interaction was observed for biases directed at diverse ethnic and arbitrarily-defined outgroups across measures reflecting intergroup biases in evaluation and discriminatory behavior. These findings reveal a candidate genetic mechanism for the acquisition of intergroup bias, and suggest that intergroup bias is dually inherited and transmitted through the interplay of social (i.e. contextual cues of outgroup threat) and biological mechanisms (i.e. genetic sensitivity toward threatening contexts) that regulate perceived intergroup threats.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA, Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA, and School of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, P. R. China Department of Psychology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA, Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA, and School of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, P. R. China bkcheon@ntu.edu.sg.Department of Psychology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA, Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA, and School of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, P. R. China.Department of Psychology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA, Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA, and School of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, P. R. China Department of Psychology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA, Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA, and School of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, P. R. China.Department of Psychology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA, Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA, and School of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, P. R. China.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

Language

eng

PubMed ID

23887814

Citation

Cheon, Bobby K., et al. "Gene × Environment Interaction On Intergroup Bias: the Role of 5-HTTLPR and Perceived Outgroup Threat." Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, vol. 9, no. 9, 2014, pp. 1268-75.
Cheon BK, Livingston RW, Hong YY, et al. Gene × environment interaction on intergroup bias: the role of 5-HTTLPR and perceived outgroup threat. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2014;9(9):1268-75.
Cheon, B. K., Livingston, R. W., Hong, Y. Y., & Chiao, J. Y. (2014). Gene × environment interaction on intergroup bias: the role of 5-HTTLPR and perceived outgroup threat. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 9(9), pp. 1268-75. doi:10.1093/scan/nst111.
Cheon BK, et al. Gene × Environment Interaction On Intergroup Bias: the Role of 5-HTTLPR and Perceived Outgroup Threat. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2014;9(9):1268-75. PubMed PMID: 23887814.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Gene × environment interaction on intergroup bias: the role of 5-HTTLPR and perceived outgroup threat. AU - Cheon,Bobby K, AU - Livingston,Robert W, AU - Hong,Ying-Yi, AU - Chiao,Joan Y, Y1 - 2013/07/24/ PY - 2013/7/27/entrez PY - 2013/7/28/pubmed PY - 2015/5/15/medline KW - 5-HTTLPR KW - behavioral genetics KW - gene × environment interactions KW - intergroup bias KW - prejudice SP - 1268 EP - 75 JF - Social cognitive and affective neuroscience JO - Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci VL - 9 IS - 9 N2 - Perceived threat from outgroups is a consistent social-environmental antecedent of intergroup bias (i.e. prejudice, ingroup favoritism). The serotonin transporter gene polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) has been associated with individual variations in sensitivity to context, particularly stressful and threatening situations. Here, we examined how 5-HTTLPR and environmental factors signaling potential outgroup threat dynamically interact to shape intergroup bias. Across two studies, we provide novel evidence for a gene-environment interaction on the acquisition of intergroup bias and prejudice. Greater exposure to signals of outgroup threat, such as negative prior contact with outgroups and perceived danger from the social environment, were more predictive of intergroup bias among participants possessing at least one short allele (vs two long alleles) of 5-HTTLPR. Furthermore, this gene x environment interaction was observed for biases directed at diverse ethnic and arbitrarily-defined outgroups across measures reflecting intergroup biases in evaluation and discriminatory behavior. These findings reveal a candidate genetic mechanism for the acquisition of intergroup bias, and suggest that intergroup bias is dually inherited and transmitted through the interplay of social (i.e. contextual cues of outgroup threat) and biological mechanisms (i.e. genetic sensitivity toward threatening contexts) that regulate perceived intergroup threats. SN - 1749-5024 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/23887814/Gene_×_environment_interaction_on_intergroup_bias:_the_role_of_5_HTTLPR_and_perceived_outgroup_threat_ L2 - https://academic.oup.com/scan/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/scan/nst111 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -