Dynamics of Human Growth,  Education,  Human Interaction,  Humanity,  Psychology

The Face of Humanity: Configural Face Processing Influences Ascriptions of Humanness.

This article is directed towards bringing to light the understanding of how the humanness of a human face can have its roots, in part, in low-level, feature-integration processes typical of normal face perception. This is because perceptions of humanness or dehumanization can have perceptual roots. While paying attention on the well-established face inversion paradigm, it shows that disruptions of configural face processing also disrupt the ability of human faces to activate concepts related to humanness like in a human face that is turned up-side-down. This reduces the levels of human-like traits and characteristics ascribed to faces portraying clearly that, dehumanized responses can arise from bottom-up perceptual cues suggesting novel causes and consequences of dehumanizing responses. Attaching and/or detaching person-hood from another human is the most essential act of social cognition.

Attaching humanity brings others into the moral community by preventing harmful treatment, and facilitating fairness and empathy whereas detaching humanity leads to the opposite. In any human society, dehumanization triggers discrimination. When people’s power of being human is taken away from them, persons are not ascribed the full human range of emotions. This is because the tendency to withhold humanity from others can facilitate inter-group conflict and harmful treatment. Assigning person-hood is a motivated, top-down process, with beliefs and motives about the self and others influencing ascriptions of humanness. This has its roots in the perceptual processes employed in normal human face exercise.

People who dehumanize the society don’t experience positive feeling, consequences of dehumanization trouble the cognitive processes underlying ascribing and withholding others’ person-hood. Dehumanizing and mind perception work together in human showing how humans are seen as possessing sophisticated capacities distinct from animals that lack emotional responsiveness and experiential capacity that makes humans distinct from objects. Victims of inhuman acts tend to look at those who dehumanize them as being powerful hence lacking the urge to claim their humanness and person-hood back.


Reviewed from the work of Hugenberg K.; Young S.; Rydell R. J.; Almaraz S.; Stanko A. K.; See P. E.; Wilson J. P. (2016).


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