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|Abstract:||Dehumanized perception, a failure to spontaneously consider the mind of another person, may be a psychological mechanism facilitating inhumane acts like torture. Social cognition - considering someone's mind - recognizes the other as a human being subject to moral treatment. Social neuroscience has reliably shown that participants normally activate a social-cognition neural network to pictures and thoughts of other people; our previous work shows that parts of this network uniquely fail to engage for traditionally dehumanized targets (homeless persons or drug addicts; see Harris & Fiske, 2009, for review). This suggests participants may not consider these dehumanized groups' minds. Study 1 demonstrates that participants do fail to spontaneously think about the contents of these targets' minds when imagining a day in their life, and rate them differently on a number of human-perception dimensions. Study 2 shows that these human-perception dimension ratings correlate with activation in brain regions beyond the social-cognition network, including areas implicated in disgust, attention, and cognitive control. These results suggest that disengaging social cognition affects a number of other brain processes and hints at some of the complex psychological mechanisms potentially involved in atrocities against humanity.|
|Electronic Publication Date:||2011|
|Citation:||Harris, Lasana T, Fiske, Susan T. (2011). Dehumanized Perception: A Psychological Means to Facilitate Atrocities, Torture, and Genocide?. Z Psychol, 219 (3), 175 - 181. doi:10.1027/2151-2604/a000065|
|Pages:||175 - 181|
|Type of Material:||Journal Article|
|Journal/Proceeding Title:||Z Psychol|
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