Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences - Research Publications

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    The Roles of Dehumanization and Moral Outrage in Retributive Justice
    Bastian, B ; Denson, TF ; Haslam, N ; Krueger, F (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2013-04-23)
    When innocents are intentionally harmed, people are motivated to see that offenders get their "just deserts". The severity of the punishment they seek is driven by the perceived magnitude of the harm and moral outrage. The present research extended this model of retributive justice by incorporating the role of offender dehumanization. In three experiments relying on survey methodology in Australia and the United States, participants read about different crimes that varied by type (child molestation, violent, or white collar - Studies 1 and 2) or severity (Study 3). The findings demonstrated that both moral outrage and dehumanization predicted punishment independently of the effects of crime type or crime severity. Both moral outrage and dehumanization mediated the relationship between perceived harm and severity of punishment. These findings highlight the role of offender dehumanization in punishment decisions and extend our understanding of processes implicated in retributive justice.
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    People and Companion Animals: It Takes Two to Tango
    Amiot, C ; Bastian, B ; Martens, P (OXFORD UNIV PRESS, 2016-07)
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    Morality and Humanness
    Haslam, N ; Bastian, B ; Loughnan, S ; Levine, JM ; Hogg, MA (Sage, 2010)
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    Immigration, Multiculturalism and the Changing Face of Australia
    Bastian, B ; Bretherton, D ; Balvin, N (SPRINGER, 2012)
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    A Perspective on Dehumanization
    Haslam, N ; Bain, P ; Bastian, B ; Loughnan, S ; Drogosz, M ; Bilewicz, M (PWN, 2012)
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    A relational perspective on dehumanization
    BASTIAN, B ; Jetten, J ; Haslam, N ; Bain, P ; Vaes, J ; Leyens, JP (Psychology Press, 2012)
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    The role of meat consumption in the denial of moral status and mind to meat animals
    Loughnan, S ; Haslam, N ; Bastian, B (ACADEMIC PRESS LTD- ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2010-08)
    People enjoy eating meat but disapprove of harming animals. One resolution to this conflict is to withdraw moral concern from animals and deny their capacity to suffer. To test this possibility, we asked participants to eat dried beef or dried nuts and then indicate their moral concern for animals and judge the moral status and mental states of a cow. Eating meat reduced the perceived obligation to show moral concern for animals in general and the perceived moral status of the cow. It also indirectly reduced the ascription of mental states necessary to experience suffering. People may escape the conflict between enjoying meat and concern for animal welfare by perceiving animals as unworthy and unfeeling.
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    Essentialist beliefs predict automatic motor-responses to social categories
    Bastian, B ; Loughnan, S ; Koval, P (SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2011-07)
    Essentialist thinking has been implicated in producing segregation between social groups even in the absence of negative attitudes. This mode of category representation brings social group information to the fore in social information processing, suggesting that the social consequences of essentialism are associated with basic categorization processes. Drawing on recent work demonstrating that automatic approach and avoidance behaviors are directly embedded in intergroup categorization, we show that people who hold essentialist beliefs about human attributes are faster to approach their ingroup. Moreover this relationship is not accounted for by explicit prejudice towards the outgroup and essentialist beliefs were unrelated to implicit evaluation of either group. The findings demonstrate that essentialist beliefs are associated with immediate behavioral responses attached to social category exemplars, highlighting the links between these beliefs and basic categorization processes.
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    Blaming, praising, and protecting our humanity: The implications of everyday dehumanization for judgments of moral status
    Bastian, B ; Laham, SM ; Wilson, S ; Haslam, N ; Koval, P (WILEY, 2011-09)
    Being human implies a particular moral status: having moral value, agency, and responsibility. However, people are not seen as equally human. Across two studies, we examine the consequences that subtle variations in the perceived humanness of actors or groups have for their perceived moral status. Drawing on Haslam's two-dimensional model of humanness and focusing on three ways people may be considered to have moral status - moral patiency (value), agency, or responsibility - we demonstrate that subtly denying humanness to others has implications for whether they are blamed, praised, or considered worthy of moral concern and rehabilitation. Moreover, we show that distinct human characteristics are linked to specific judgments of moral status. This work demonstrates that everyday judgments of moral status are influenced by perceptions of humanness.