Kean Quest


Dehumanization reflects a psychological process that denies individuals and groups the positive traits and attributes that make them human. Those experiencing homelessness are frequently dehumanized and perceived as social outcasts in American society. This study demonstrates the tendency of others to dehumanize individuals that are homeless and how increased empathy changes how this social outgroup is perceived. Results revealed that when exposed to information that humanizes a man experiencing homelessness, participants’ levels of empathy increased, and levels of disgust decreased. However, general attitudes and beliefs of homelessness were unchanged. The implications of increasing empathy levels for this social outgroup are discussed.