Recently, I presented evidence that there are two broad kinds of dehumanization: descriptive dehumanization and
normative dehumanization. An individual is descriptively dehumanized when they are perceived as less than fully
human in the biological-species sense; whereas an individual is normatively dehumanized when they are perceived
as lacking a deep-seated commitment to good moral values. Here, I develop the concept of normative dehumanization by addressing skepticism about two hypotheses that are widely held by dehumanization researchers.
The first hypothesis is that dehumanization is distinct from mere dislike and other non-dehumanizing attitudes.
The second hypothesis is that dehumanization is an important predictor of intergroup hostility. Across four
studies, I found evidence that normative dehumanization is distinct from mere dislike, and denials of ideal
humanness. I also found that it is a unique predictor of intergroup hostility. These findings suggest that research
into dehumanization and intergroup hostility will benefit from recognizing the distinction between descriptive
and normative dehumanization.