What determines whether people dehumanise another person or themselves? We propose that the construal of a violation as moral or value-based influences who is dehumanised. Previous research has demonstrated that people perceive morals to be objective indicators of right and wrong (Goodwin amp; Darley, 2008), while values are viewed as subjective (Bardi amp; Schwartz, 2003). Here, participants recalled past moral or value violations, then reflected on the thoughts and feelings of either the other person victimised by their violation, or their own thoughts and feelings. Participants then rated dehumanisation of either the other or themselves using the Human Nature and Uniqueness Scale. We found that participants dehumanised the other more when recalling a value violation. This result suggests that differences in construal between morals and values can have an impact on dehumanisation.
Tang, S. & Harris, L. (2015). Construing a transgression as a moral or a value violation impacts other versus self-dehumanisation. Revue Internationale de Psychologie Sociale, 28(1), 95-123.