The Early Expression of Blatant Dehumanization in Children and Its Association with Outgroup Negativity.
Dehumanization is observed in adults across cultures and is thought to motivate human violence. The age of its first expression remains largely untested. This research demonstrates that diverse representations of humanness, including a novel one, readily elicit blatant dehumanization in adults (N = 482) and children (aged 5-12; N = 150). Dehumanizing responses in both age groups are associated with support for outgroup inferiority. Similar to the link previously observed in adults, dehumanization by children is associated with a willingness to punish outgroup transgressors. These findings suggest that exposure to cultural norms throughout adolescence and adulthood are not required for the development of outgroup dehumanization.
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