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Views on Guns, Death Penalty Linked to Harsh Treatment of Immigrants

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The words people use and their beliefs about certain controversial issues, such as the death penalty and gun rights, can predict attitudes favoring the harsh treatment and dehumanization of illegal immigrants, according to a new online study that pulled equally from people who identified as Democrats or Republicans.

The findings are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. For the study, researchers from the University of Oregon (UO) investigated the traits of those who dehumanize immigrants, beyond the often-discussed factors such as hatred toward outside groups and extreme racism.

Dehumanization — defined as depriving a person or group of fundamental human qualities — is a complex process, but identifiable by

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