Darker demons of our nature: The need to (Re)focus attention on blatant forms of dehumanization

Nour S. Kteily*, Emile Bruneau

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Although dehumanization research first emerged following the overt and conscious denials of humanity present during war and genocide, modern dehumanization research largely examines more subtle and implicit forms of dehumanization in more everyday settings. We argue for the need to reorient the research agenda toward understanding when and why individuals blatantly dehumanize others. We review recent research in a range of contexts suggesting that blatant dehumanization is surprisingly prevalent and potent, uniquely predicting aggressive intergroup attitudes and behavior beyond subtle forms of dehumanization and outgroup dislike, and promoting vicious cycles of conflict.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-494
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Directions in Psychological Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2017


  • Aggression
  • Conflict
  • Dehumanization
  • Intergroup relations
  • Metadehumanization
  • Prejudice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Darker demons of our nature: The need to (Re)focus attention on blatant forms of dehumanization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this