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Abstract

Philosophers have argued that when people are objectified they are treated as if they lack the mental states and moral status associated with personhood. These aspects of objectification have been neglected by psychologists. This research investigates the role of depersonalization in objectification. In Study 1, objectified women were attributed less mind and were accorded lesser moral status than non-objectified women. In Study 2, we replicated this effect with male and female targets and extended it to include perceptions of competence and pain attribution. Further, we explored whether target and perceiver gender qualify depersonalization. Overall, this research indicates that when people are objectified they are denied personhood. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.