From dehumanization and objectification to rehumanization: Neuroimaging studies on the building blocks of empathy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Social neuroscience offers a window into the mental origins of empathy. People must appreciate another mind in order to empathize. People first categorize the other as human, assuming a mind, and then differentiate among social categories according to universal dimensions of perceived traits: warmth and competence. The least warm and competent groups (poor people, homeless, drug addicts) may even be denied humanity and a meaningful mind, according to both neural and behavioral responses to allegedly disgusting outcasts. Other groups may be instead envied and viewed as tools or automatons, that is, objectified. The patterns can reverse when perceivers must consider the other's preferences, that is, appreciate the other's mind.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationValues, Empathy, and Fairness across Social Barriers
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Inc.
Pages31-34
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9781573317603
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2009

Publication series

NameAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Volume1167
ISSN (Print)0077-8923
ISSN (Electronic)1749-6632

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

Keywords

  • Amygdala
  • Dehumanization
  • Empathy
  • Mind
  • Objectification
  • Prejudice
  • Social cognition
  • Social neuroscience
  • mPFC

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  • Cite this

    Fiske, S. T. (2009). From dehumanization and objectification to rehumanization: Neuroimaging studies on the building blocks of empathy. In Values, Empathy, and Fairness across Social Barriers (pp. 31-34). (Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences; Vol. 1167). Blackwell Publishing Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.04544.x