Humanizing the self: Moderators of the attribution of lesser humanness to others

Haslam, Nick & Bain, Paul (2007) Humanizing the self: Moderators of the attribution of lesser humanness to others. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33(1), pp. 57-68.

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Three studies investigated moderators of the tendency to attribute greater humanness to the self than to others, an interpersonal counterpart of outgroup infra-humanization. Study 1 demonstrated that this self-humanizing effect is reduced when the other is the focus of comparison. Study 2 showed that the effect is reduced when the other is individuated. Study 3 indicated that empathy does not moderate self-humanizing: Self-humanizing failed to correlate negatively with dispositional empathy or perspective-taking. Study 3 also indicated that abstract construal moderates the self-humanizing effect using a temporal comparison. Participants rated their future self, but not their past self, as less human than their present self. Studies 1 and 3 also showed that selfhumanizing is greater for undesirable traits: People may view their failings as “only human.” All findings were distinct from those attributable to self-enhancement. Self-humanizing may reflect a combination of egocentrism, focalism, abstract representation of others, and motivated processes.

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ID Code: 83048
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: dehumanization, empathy, human nature, self-enhancement, social comparison
DOI: 10.1177/0146167206293191
ISSN: 0146-1672
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Social and Community Psychology (170113)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.
Deposited On: 02 Apr 2015 03:01
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2015 00:55

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