Objectification and (De)Humanization (eBook)
People often see nonhuman agents as human-like. Through the processes of anthropomorphism and humanization, people attribute human characteristics, including personalities, free will, and agency to pets, cars, gods, nature, and the like. Similarly, there are some people who often see human agents as less than human, or more object-like. In this manner, objectification describes the treatment of a human being as a thing, disregarding the person's personality and/or sentience. For example, women, medical patients, racial minorities, and people with disabilities, are often seen as animal-like or less than human through dehumanization and objectification. These two opposing forces may be a considered a continuum with anthropomorphism and humanization on one end and dehumanization and objectification on the other end. Although researchers have identified some of the antecedents and consequences of these processes, a systematic investigation of the motivations that underlie this continuum is lacking. Considerations of this continuum may have considerable implications for such areas as everyday human functioning, interactions with people, animals, and objects, violence, discrimination, relationship development, mental health, or psychopathology. The edited volume will integrate multiple theoretical and empirical approaches on this issue.