Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology (MA)

Degree Level



Psychological Science


Denise Beike

Committee Member

Scott Eidelman

Second Committee Member

Jennifer Veilleux


Psychology, Emotion, Hate, Social psychology


Interpersonal hate, the affective state of one individual experiencing hate toward another, is widely experienced. However, to date there is no experimental evidence of interpersonal hate. This phenomenon was explored, as was its place in the triad of hostile emotions. It was theorized that interpersonal hate would be differentiated from the hostile emotions (contempt, anger, and disgust) by appraisal of violation type and by behavioral response, and that the hostile emotions could be recognized by these characteristics, as well. Specifically, it was hypothesized that interpersonal hate would be incited by autonomy violations and avoidance responses; anger would be incited by autonomy violations and approach responses; disgust would be incited by divinity violations and avoidance responses; and contempt would be incited by community violations and avoidance responses. In Study 1, participants were shown scenarios that depicted violation types of autonomy, community, and divinity, combined with either approach or avoidance responses. Results indicated that participants recognized interpersonal hate when shown depictions of autonomy violations and avoidance responses. However, the expected patterns of appraisal and behavior were not so clearly supported for the hostile emotions. In Study 2, the same scenarios were used, but participants were either shown all avoidance behavior scenarios, or all approach behavior scenarios. Again, interpersonal hate was rated higher in scenarios depicting violations of autonomy and avoidance responses, but the hostile emotions did not reveal expected patterns of results. Support for the hostile emotions was mixed, and suggests that further research and theoretical development in this area is warranted. Across two studies, conducted in two different populations, interpersonal hate was identified by participants by the predicted appraisal of autonomy violation and avoidance behavior. It is concluded that interpersonal hate is an emotion, that it occurs when someone feels a violation to the self that they wish to avoid, and that it behaves in a predictable pattern, similar to other emotions.