To understand dehumanization, we must understand how humans are contrasted with nonhumans. Our work (Haslam, 2006) proposes two forms of dehumanization, in which people are denied uniquelyhumanattributes and likened to animals, or denied human nature attributes and likened to robots. In the light of this model, we examined the mental capacities that are believed to differentiate humans from animals, robots, and supernatural beings in three cultures (Australia, China, Italy). Cross–culturally consistent patterns emerged, with humans differing from nonhumans on two dimensions that closely resembled our two proposed forms of humanness. Compared to humans, animals were seen as lacking higher cognitive powers and refined emotion, but also as having superior perceptual capacities. Robots chiefly lacked emotion– and desire– related capacities. Supernatural beings had superior cognitive and perceptual capacities. Implications for dehumanization are discussed.

Subhuman, Inhuman, and Superhuman: Contrasting Humans with Nonhumans in Three Cultures

SUITNER, CATERINA
2008

Abstract

To understand dehumanization, we must understand how humans are contrasted with nonhumans. Our work (Haslam, 2006) proposes two forms of dehumanization, in which people are denied uniquelyhumanattributes and likened to animals, or denied human nature attributes and likened to robots. In the light of this model, we examined the mental capacities that are believed to differentiate humans from animals, robots, and supernatural beings in three cultures (Australia, China, Italy). Cross–culturally consistent patterns emerged, with humans differing from nonhumans on two dimensions that closely resembled our two proposed forms of humanness. Compared to humans, animals were seen as lacking higher cognitive powers and refined emotion, but also as having superior perceptual capacities. Robots chiefly lacked emotion– and desire– related capacities. Supernatural beings had superior cognitive and perceptual capacities. Implications for dehumanization are discussed.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/2482730
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