In a recent paper published in JPSP (Caviola, Everett, & Faber, 2018), we introduced and begun to investigate the philosophical concept of ‘speciesism’ — the assignment of different moral worth based on species membership — as a psychological construct. In five studies, using both general population samples online and student samples, we demonstrated that speciesism is a measurable, stable construct with high interpersonal differences, that goes along with a cluster of other forms of prejudice, and is able to predict real-world decision-making and behaviour. In this new work, we begin to explore how people perceive “speciesist" others who prioritise members of their own species group over members of other groups. Across two studies, we show that people perceive speciesists like they do racists and sexists, and that people infer specieism from the fact a person is racist or sexist, and vice versa. What are the implications of this, and how can this be squared with the prevalence of negative attitudes towards anti-speciesists in other contexts, like vegetarianism? We hope to discuss the philosophical implications of our work with people from the centre, as well as share our existing findings and planned next studies.
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