In a series of timelines, we review the history of hate research by summarizing the findings and theories of pioneering thinkers and theorists over decades of inquiry.
Explorations into the roots of hate go back to the early moral philosophers of past centuries. The formal science of hate research began in the late 19th Century when the seeds of psychological, anthropological and social science were germinating.
Over 50 years of social psychology research has brought us a wealth of data about group think, peer pressure, denial, projection, conformity and obedience, the effects of group membership, stigma and status, and how dehumanization can lead to cruelty and injustice toward disempowered groups. Classical psychoanalytical and Gestalt traditions provided theoretical reflection, and initiated studies of authoritarianism and social dominance that later expanded into completely new areas of fruitful inquiry.
Science itself had to confront inherent tendencies for bias
Misguided scientists have misinterpreted test results to prove lesser intelligence, developed measurements based on physical attributes to categorize classes of people, and used numerous other illegitimate approaches to preserve and provide “scientific” support for their biases.
The following sections provide an historical overview of key aspects of this vast research by reviewing pioneering thinkers and their classic experiments.