Journal article

Speaking about the preborn. How specific terms used in the abortion debate reflect attitudes and (de)mentalization

Michał Bilewicz, Gosia Mikołajczak, Maria Babińska

Personality and Individual Differences | Elsevier BV | Published : 2017

Abstract

According to the Whorfian approach, language reflects and shapes cognitive processes, as well as attitudes. In this article, we analyze how people's preference to use one of the two terms used in the abortion discourse: “fetus” and “unborn child” can reveal their attitudes toward abortion and reflect deeper processes of (de)mentalization of the preborn. Study 1, which utilized a convenience sample of Polish internet users (N = 102), showed that people who used anthropomorphizing language opposed elective abortion more firmly than those using dementalizing language. The opposition to abortion among people using anthropomorphizing language could not be attributed to their religiosity, nor to t..

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