The role of agency and communion in dehumanization — an integrative perspective

Magdalena Formanowicz, Dominika Bulska, Nurit Shnabel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Dehumanization, the denial of human qualities to others, should theoretically be predicted by perceptions of agency and communion, the ‘Big Two’ dimensions coordinating social cognition. However, empirical tests of the relations between dehumanization and the Big Two yielded seemingly contradicting results. We argue that these results can be explained by considering (a) different measurements and conceptualizations used in the dehumanization literature, and (b) different social contexts in which it was studied. Specifically, we suggest that when the target group has a victim status in the conflict, or is relatively disadvantaged in society, it is dehumanized based on perceived low agency. When the target group has a perpetrator status or is relatively advantaged, it is dehumanized based on perceived low morality.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101236
JournalCurrent Opinion in Behavioral Sciences
Volume49
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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