Interpersonal Dehumanization

Status: Planning follow-up. Look for my poster at SPSP 2020!

It’s well established that people often see other groups as less human than their own. But does this occur on an individual level? Our question is whether dehumanization on the basis of group carries over to individuals, and what happens when there are additional, independent sources of dehumanization. We’ve found that we can make targets seem less human with simple trait descriptions, and that this manipulatoin predicts lesser attribution of pain (see figure above), greater punishment, and more painful medical decision-making. However, targets’ race has no effect, suggesting that group-based sources of dehumanization may be less salient in some situations. We are planning to follow up to learn more about how individual and group sources of dehumanization interact.

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Jeremy C. Simon
Visiting Assistant Professor, Psychology

My research interests include dehumanization, intergroup bias, and neural synchrony.