Teraguchi & Kugihara (2015)

Teraguchi, T.(寺口司), & Kugihara, N.(釘原直樹) (2015). 
Effects of labeling and group category of evaluators on evaluations of aggression. 
PLoS ONE, 10(12): e0144384.
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0144384
This study investigated whether the effect of labeling on people’s evaluation of aggression varies according to the group category of the evaluators (i.e., whether they are ingroup members or third parties). Two labeling strategies—the negative labeling of victims (NL strategy) and the positive labeling of aggressors (PL strategy)–were adopted. We conducted an experiment using the hot sauce paradigm, as a way to assess aggressive intent that includes behavioral measures of evaluations. The results suggested that the NL strategy causes ingroup members to evaluate aggression in a more positive light, while the PL strategy has the same effect but on third parties instead. Thus, labeling strategies may increase the severity of aggressors’ reaction and could also be a factor that can escalate a war or conflict.