Are Soldiers less Human than us? The Denial of Humanness to Military Personnel and its Consequences.

Hirst, James (2010). Are Soldiers less Human than us? The Denial of Humanness to Military Personnel and its Consequences. Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Hirst, James
Thesis Title Are Soldiers less Human than us? The Denial of Humanness to Military Personnel and its Consequences.
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2010
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Paul Bain
Total pages 81
Abstract/Summary The perceptions that civilians have for the roles performed by the military may lead them to deny humanness to military personnel, resulting in negative consequences for their treatment. In the current study Australian civilians (N=116) rated civilians, combat and non-combat military personnel on emotions and traits. These emotions and traits were then rated on Human Uniqueness which is associated with rationality, civility and refinement and on Human Nature which is associated with warmth, emotionality and openness. The potential negative consequences examined included support for military mental health funding, social distance and intentions to aid military personnel. It was also examined whether the associations between attributions of humanness and theses consequences would be mediated by collective responsibility for personnel and their perceived moral agency. As hypothesized, civilians were rated higher on Human Nature than military personnel indicating the presence of dehumanization. Dehumanizing combat personnel on Human Nature was also positively associated with a lower preference for military mental health funding. Results also found that the attribution of Human Nature to civilians and military personnel was associated with more positive outcomes for the treatment of military personnel on these consequences. These results have theoretical implications for understanding that the attribution of humanness for groups can be as important to examine as its' denial. Practical implications may involve the attribution of Human Nature as a means to increase recognition and aid for personnel such as associating them with characteristics like warmth and emotionality.

 
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Created: Wed, 06 Apr 2011, 09:34:17 EST by Lucy O'Brien on behalf of School of Psychology