Reply to Fincher et al.: Conceptual specificity in dehumanization research is a feature, not a bug
Author(s)Valdesolo, Piercarlo; Graham, Jesse; Rai, Tage Shakti
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Fincher et al. (1) argue that our conceptualization of dehumanization as “the failure to engage in social cognition of other human minds” (2) is too narrow. Importantly, Fincher et al. (1) do not dispute our actual findings. They agree that reduced perception of mental and emotional states in victims generates apathy that enables harm for instrumental gain, while recognition of those same states may be required to harm victims to satisfy moral motives (2). Instead, the substance of Fincher et al.’s (1) critique is that we fail to investigate broader, vaguely defined dimensions of dehumanization that could conceivably be related to moral violence. However, we consider our conceptual specificity and tight operationalization of dehumanization to be a feature of our research, not a bug.
DepartmentSloan School of Management
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)
Rai, Tage S., Piercarlo Valdesolo, and Jesse Graham. “Reply to Fincher et Al.: Conceptual Specificity in Dehumanization Research Is a Feature, Not a Bug.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115, no. 15 (March 22, 2018): E3331–E3332.
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