Normative Dehumanization and the Ordinary Concept of a True Human

Current Research in Ecological and Social Psychology 5 (2023)
  Copy   BIBTEX


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.

Author's Profile

Ben Phillips
Arizona State University


Added to PP

26 (#84,690)

6 months
26 (#71,359)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?