The Early Expression of Blatant Dehumanization in Children and Its Association with Outgroup Negativity.

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Repository Usage Stats


Citation Stats


Dehumanization is observed in adults across cultures and is thought to motivate human violence. The age of its first expression remains largely untested. This research demonstrates that diverse representations of humanness, including a novel one, readily elicit blatant dehumanization in adults (N = 482) and children (aged 5-12; N = 150). Dehumanizing responses in both age groups are associated with support for outgroup inferiority. Similar to the link previously observed in adults, dehumanization by children is associated with a willingness to punish outgroup transgressors. These findings suggest that exposure to cultural norms throughout adolescence and adulthood are not required for the development of outgroup dehumanization.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Zhou, Wen, and Brian Hare (2022). The Early Expression of Blatant Dehumanization in Children and Its Association with Outgroup Negativity. Human nature (Hawthorne, N.Y.), 33(2). pp. 196–214. 10.1007/s12110-022-09427-x Retrieved from

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.



Wen Zhou

Assistant Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at Duke Kunshan University

Wen Zhou is an assistant professor of Evolutionary Anthropology. She holds a secondary appointment with the department of Evolutionary Anthropology at Duke university. Professor Zhou aims to understand what it means to be a human and the moral status a human is believed to deserve. Her current projects focus on dehumanization and its developmental origins. Her work also involves research on social hierarchy, human-animal relations and conservation, deploying an interdisciplinary approach drawn from social and developmental psychology. She joined the faculty of Duke Kunshan University in 2022 after obtaining her Ph.D. in Evolutionary Anthropology from Duke University. 


Brian Hare

Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology

Unless otherwise indicated, scholarly articles published by Duke faculty members are made available here with a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license, as enabled by the Duke Open Access Policy. If you wish to use the materials in ways not already permitted under CC-BY-NC, please consult the copyright owner. Other materials are made available here through the author’s grant of a non-exclusive license to make their work openly accessible.