© 2013

Objectification and (De)Humanization

60th Nebraska Symposium on Motivation

  • Sarah J. Gervais

Part of the Nebraska Symposium on Motivation book series (NSM, volume 60)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Sarah J. Gervais, Philippe Bernard, Olivier Klein, Jill Allen
    Pages 1-23
  3. Nick Haslam, Steve Loughnan, Elise Holland
    Pages 25-51
  4. Nicholas Epley, Juliana Schroeder, Adam Waytz
    Pages 127-152
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 183-188

About this book


Objectification and (De)humanization brings together a wealth of scholarship from across psychology and the social sciences to illuminate how we understand "human-ness" and to focus on the many ways that those human qualities are minimized--and frequently denied--in others.                                                                                                 

“They're all alike. I have no use for them. They're not like us-- they're barely human.”


These statements are easily recognized as different degrees of stereotyping, bigotry, and discrimination. But psychologically speaking, these inaccurate perceptions of people show other, deeper, forces at work: objectification, the reduction of people to specific parts or functions, and dehumanization, the treating of humans as animals or inanimate objects.


This forward-looking Volume in the Nebraska Symposium on Motivation offers research on dehumanization and objectification as experienced by both the targets and the initiators of these processes for clear insights into their effects on individual mental health and societal well-being. The theories in this book carry wider implications for action, from addressing various forms of pathology to advancing social justice. Included in the coverage:


  • Moving towards a unified theory of objectification and dehumanization.
  • A terror management perspective on the objectification of women.
  • Pity, disgust, other? Varieties of dehumanization.
  • Self-objectification as justification of unjust systems.
  • Treating pets as people/treating people as animals.
  • Considering a pan-theoretical approach to objectification and dehumanization.

Objectification and (De)humanization is a groundbreaking reference for social psychologists, cognitive psychologists, clinical psychologists, and experimental psychologists as well as  researchers in gender studies, anthropologists, and sociologists. Its depth of analysis is a testament to our continued recognition of our shared humanity.


anthropomorphism instrumentalization motivation behind objectification objectification and Minority Stress Theories objectification and violence objectification of women sexualization

Editors and affiliations

  • Sarah J. Gervais
    • 1
  1. 1., Dept of PsychologyUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA

About the editors

Dr. Gervais has a dual Ph.D. in Psychology and Women's Studies from the Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Gervais' research examines power and subtle prejudice. Examining behaviors like the objectifying gaze, patronization, and interpersonal confrontation, Dr. Gervais has found that the discriminatory acts of powerful people are often more subtle and nuanced than previously thought, but they still have negative consequences for recipients. Dr. Gervais also examines the relationship between subtle prejudice, public policy, and law.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Objectification and (De)Humanization
  • Book Subtitle 60th Nebraska Symposium on Motivation
  • Editors Sarah J. Gervais
  • Series Title Nebraska Symposium on Motivation
  • Series Abbreviated Title Nebraska Sympos.Motivation
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Behavioral Science Behavioral Science and Psychology (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4614-6958-2
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-4899-9887-3
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-4614-6959-9
  • Series ISSN 0146-7875
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages IX, 188
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Personality and Social Psychology
    Cognitive Psychology
  • Buy this book on publisher's site