Attributing and denying humanness to others

Haslam, Nick, Loughnan, Stephen, Kashima, Yoshihisa and Bain, Paul (2008) Attributing and denying humanness to others. European Review of Social Psychology, 19 1: 55-85. doi:10.1080/10463280801981645


Author Haslam, Nick
Loughnan, Stephen
Kashima, Yoshihisa
Bain, Paul
Title Attributing and denying humanness to others
Journal name European Review of Social Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1046-3283
1479-277X
Publication date 2008-01-01
Year available 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/10463280801981645
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 19
Issue 1
Start page 55
End page 85
Total pages 31
Place of publication Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Psychology Press
Language eng
Abstract We review a programme of research on the attribution of humanness to people, and the ways in which lesser humanness is attributed to some compared to others. We first present evidence that humanness has two distinct senses, one representing properties that are unique to our species, and the otherhuman naturethose properties that are essential or fundamental to the human category. An integrative model of dehumanisation is then laid out, in which distinct forms of dehumanisation correspond to the denial of the two senses of humanness, and the likening of people to particular kinds of nonhuman entities (animals and machines). Studies demonstrating that human nature attributes are ascribed more to the self than to others are reviewed, along with evidence of the phenomenon's cognitive and motivational basis. Research also indicates that both kinds of humanness are commonly denied to social groups, both explicitly and implicitly, and that they may cast a new light on the study of stereotype content. Our approach to the study of dehumanisation complements the tradition of research on infrahumanisation, and indicates new directions for exploring the importance of humanness as a dimension of social perception.
Formatted abstract
We review a programme of research on the attribution of humanness to people, and the ways in which lesser humanness is attributed to some compared to others. We first present evidence that humanness has two distinct senses, one representing properties that are unique to our species, and the other—human nature—those properties that are essential or fundamental to the human category. An integrative model of dehumanisation is then laid out, in which distinct forms of dehumanisation correspond to the denial of the two senses of humanness, and the likening of people to particular kinds of nonhuman entities (animals and machines). Studies demonstrating that human nature attributes are ascribed more to the self than to others are reviewed, along with evidence of the phenomenon's cognitive and motivational basis. Research also indicates that both kinds of humanness are commonly denied to social groups, both explicitly and implicitly, and that they may cast a new light on the study of stereotype content. Our approach to the study of dehumanisation complements the tradition of research on infrahumanisation, and indicates new directions for exploring the importance of humanness as a dimension of social perception.
Keyword dehumanisation
essentialism
human nature
infrahumanisation
stereotypes
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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