Rachel Calogero received her PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Kent (UKC) in Canterbury, England, and then completed an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship and held a Lectureship at UKC, before taking her current position as Assistant Professor of Psychology at Virginia Wesleyan College (USA). Her main research interests focus on the social psychological processes involved in the legitimization of oppressive social practices, with particular attention to gender and class inequities, human trafficking, and the motivation for social action. She is an Associate Editor of Psychology of Women Quarterly and senior editor of the book, Self-Objectification in Women: Causes, Consequences, and Counteractions (APA, 2011).
Abstract: Objects Don't Object: An Integrative System Justification Perspective on Objectification
This presentation describes a program of research that moves beyond prior work documenting the negative psychological impact of women’s self-objectification to highlight its system-justifying function. A series of studies will demonstrate that exposure to legitimizing sexist ideologies reinforces investment in appearance monitoring and appearance management, while reducing investment in gender-based collective action. When the sexist system is delegitimized, gender-based collective action increases—but this effect is mediated by self-objectification. These findings suggest that introjection of the wider “panoptical” male gaze may signify an internalized inferiority that fundamentally disrupts and redirects motivation to challenge the dominant cultural lens of sexual objectification.
Nicholas Epley is a Professor of Behavioral Science at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. His research investigates people's ability to reason about others' minds, from knowing how one is being judged by others to predicting others' attitudes, beliefs, and underlying motivations, and the implications of systematic mistakes in mind reading for everyday social interactions. His research has appeared in more than two dozen journals, has been featured by the Wall Street Journal, CNN, Wired, and National Public Radio, among others. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, General Motors, and the Templeton Foundation. Epley has written for the New York Times, produced lectures for the Financial Times, been elected as a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, and is the winner of the 2008 Theoretical Innovation Prize from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. In 2011, he received the Early Career Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions from the American Psychological Association. He has never been to Lincoln, Nebraska. He looks forward to fixing that personal shortcoming in April,2012.
Abstract: Humanization: Motivated Perception of Pets as People and People as Animals
A mind capable of thinking, feeling, and reasoning is the defining feature of a person. Attributing a mind to a nonhuman is the essence of anthropomorphism, and failing to attribute a mind is the essence of dehumanization. Although these two processes are often treated separately, research suggests they are governed by the same cognitive and motivational triggers that lead people to perceive minds in others, such as motives for social connection and understanding. Understanding these triggers is the key to understanding when other agents, whether nonhuman or human, are humanized as mindful persons or treated as lesser animals or objects.
Susan T. Fiske is Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology, Princeton University (Ph.D., Harvard University; honorary doctorates, UniversitéCatholique de Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium; Universiteit Leiden, Netherlands). She investigates social cognition, especially cognitive stereotypes and emotional prejudices, at cultural, interpersonal, and neuroscientific levels. Author of over 250 publications and winner of numerous scientific awards, she has edited most recently, Beyond Common Sense: Psychological Science in the Courtroom (2008) and the Handbook of Social Psychology (2010, 5/e). Currently an editor of Annual Review of Psychology and Psychological Review, she wrote Social Beings: Core Motives in Social Psychology (2010, 2/e) and Social Cognition: From Brains to Culture (4/e, in press). Sponsored by a Guggenheim, her 2011 Russell-Sage-Foundation book is Envy Up, Scorn Down: How Status Divides Us.
Abstract: Varieties of (De)Humanizing Experience
Seeing another’s humanity varies predictably along apparently universal dimensions of perceived warmth and competence. New data reveal distinct neural and behavioral signatures of responses to distinct kinds of ingroups and outgroups. As previously described, the most dehumanized outgroups (low on both warmth and competence) elicit disgust and avoidance, devalued as literally worth-less. In contrast, groups disliked for seeming cold but respected for competence elicit envy and Schadenfreude. New data describe reactions to pitied outgroups, disrespected for seeming incompetent, but apparently likable enough for seeming trustworthy and warm. New data also describe hyper-humanization of ingroup members, who are both liked and respected.
Jamie Goldenberg is Associate Professor of Psychology at The University of South Florida. Her research focuses on the impact of existential concerns associated with mortality on attitudes toward sex and the body, and women's bodies in particular. She has published extensively on the topic, and currently has a grant from the National Cancer Institute of NIH to apply her theoretical model to cancer-relevant health behavior.
Abstract: Immortal Objects: The Objectification of Women as Terror Management
Few would take issue with the conclusion that women are, at least at times, objectified. But why, for what purpose, would a woman be rendered object-like? In response to this question, I offer a unique perspective informed by terror management theory. In short: Objects, devoid of life, present little threat associated with mortality. In my presentation, I will review evidence that the objectification of women, and women’s self-objectification, entails rendering women as object-like, and then present theoretical and empirical support for, and guidelines for future research on, a terror management function of objectification.
Nick Haslam is professor of psychology at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He received his PhD in clinical psychology at the University of Pennsylvania in 1992 and then taught for several years at the New School for Social Research in New York City. Nick has published extensively on psychiatric classification, psychological essentialism, social relationships, and dehumanization. His most recent book is "Psychology in the Bathroom" (forthcoming, Palgrave Macmillan).
Abstract: Bodies and Beasts, Minds and Meat, Objects and Otherness
My talk surveys a program of research that began as an exploration of lay theories of humanness but then branched off in many directions. I will discuss how an analysis of humanness provides a new window on the psychology of dehumanization and also on the perception of self. In particular, I will review my group’s recent work on four emerging topics that can be fruitfully examined through the lens of humanness: the objectification of women; bestial stereotypes of the poor; the experience of being dehumanized; and the perception of food animals.
Bonnie Moradi is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Florida. Her research focuses on minority stressors, including experiences of prejudice, discrimination, and objectification, as well as on collective identity. This research examines the nature of these experiences, their associations with health and well-being for women, racial/ethnic minority, sexual minority, and other minority populations, and the intersections of minority stressors and identities across populations. This research has been funded by sources such as NIH and the American Psychological Foundation’s Wayne F. Placek Award. Dr. Moradi is the recipient of a number of national awards, including the APA Committee on Women in Psychology Emerging Leader Award and Early Career Awards from the APA Society of Counseling Psychology and its Section for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues. She is currently an Associate Editor of Psychology of Women Quarterly.
Abstract: Toward a Pantheoretical Framework for Understanding the Mental Health Implications of Dehumanization Experiences: An Integration of Objectification and Minority Stress Theories
The sexual objectification of women and the prejudicial treatment of racial/ethnic minority, sexual minority, and other minority populations reflect and reinforce dehumanizing perceptions of these populations. Building on this shared underlying phenomenon of dehumanization, this presentation aims to connect theory and research on the mental health implications of experiences of discrimination with theory and research on the mental health implications of experiences of objectification. To this end, the presentation will outline examples of key theoretical frameworks in each of these two threads of literature, draw connections between these threads, and offer an integrative framework based on the shared principles of these theories. The presentation will also offer examples of the implications of such connections for understanding the experiences of populations with intersecting minority identities.