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Dehumanization in the judicial system: The effect of animalization and mechanization of defendants on blame attribution.

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Abstract

Personality characteristics of perpetrators were examined in the process of blame attribution in the context of a severe criminal case. We expected that dehumanization of a defendant would predict harsh sentence decisions. Two independent dehumanization types were considered: “animalization” and “mechanization.” Animalization occurred when uniquely human (i.e., high HU) capacities were denied in the target person, and the individual was assigned less sophisticated attributes. In contrast, mechanization was observed when naturally human characteristics (i.e., high HN) were denied in the target, and instead, the person was expected to possess unemotional and robotic personality characteristics. We prepared four different types of target descriptions along the dimensions of HU and HN. Participants were assigned to read one of the target descriptions and were asked to evaluate his capacity, impact of internal causes to the event, and sentence assignment when the target was explained as a defendant of a serious criminal case. It was revealed that dehumanization predicted the view of incapacity and internal causal attribution of the crime, and led to harsh sentence decisions. However, this effect was only observed for animalization. We discuss the theoretical importance of distinguishing HU and HN humanness dimensions, as well as the implications of dehumanization in the process of moral blame and punishment.
DEHUMANIZATION AND BLAME 1
Dehumanization in the Judicial System:
The Effect of Animalization and Mechanization of Defendants on Blame Attribution
Saori Tsukamoto and Minoru Karasawa
Nagoya University
Author Note
Saori Tsukamoto, Department of Psychology, Nagoya University; Minoru Karasawa,
Department of Psychology, Nagoya University.
This research was funded by a Research Fellowships of the Japan Society for the
Promotion of Science for Young Scientists for the first author and by a Grant-in-Aid for
Scientific Research on Innovative Areas (#23101002) awarded to the second author from the
Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Correspondence
concerning this article should be addressed to Saori Tsukamoto, Department of Psychology,
Nagoya University, B4-1 (780) Furo-cho, Chikusa, Nagoya 464-8601 Japan
E-mail: tsukamoto.saori@h.mbox.nagoya-u.ac.jp
phone: +81-52-789-4737
DEHUMANIZATION AND BLAME 2
Abstract
Personality characteristics of perpetrators were examined in the process of blame attribution in
the context of a severe criminal case. We expected that dehumanization of a defendant would
predict harsh sentence decisions. Two independent dehumanization types were considered:
animalization and “mechanization. Animalization occurred when uniquely human (i.e., high
HU) capacities were denied in the target person, and the individual was assigned less
sophisticated attributes. In contrast, mechanization was observed when naturally human
characteristics (i.e., high HN) were denied in the target, and instead, the person was expected to
possess unemotional and robotic personality characteristics. We prepared four different types of
target descriptions along the dimensions of HU and HN. Participants were assigned to read one
of the target descriptions and were asked to evaluate his capacity, impact of internal causes to the
event, and sentence assignment when the target was explained as a defendant of a serious
criminal case. It was revealed that dehumanization predicted the view of incapacity and internal
causal attribution of the crime, and led to harsh sentence decisions. However, this effect was only
observed for animalization. We discuss the theoretical importance of distinguishing HU and HN
humanness dimensions, as well as the implications of dehumanization in the process of moral
blame and punishment.
Keywords: dehumanization, blame, punishment, personality
DEHUMANIZATION AND BLAME 3
Dehumanization in the Judicial System:
The Effect of Animalization and Mechanization of Defendants on Blame Attribution
Criminal behavior evokes third-party observers for blame and punishment. Take the case
of an 18-year-old criminal who was found guilty of murdering a mother and her 11-month-old
daughter in Hikari City, Japan. He was handed down the death sentence, while he was referred to
as coldblooded, cruel, and inhumane by the judges (Supreme Court of Japan, 2006). Like this
example illustrates, third-party observers may interpret severity of the criminal behavior with a
link to a deficit in the perpetrators personality characteristics. In other words, the severity of
criminal behaviors may evoke harsh punishment, but the inhumanity of the perpetrators
personality may also be added to the consideration of blame and punishment (Warr, 1989).
Perceived inhumanity of the perpetrators is found to be an important determinant in
judgment of blame and punishment. For instance, the dangerousness of a criminal can be inferred
from information such as the severity and type of the crime, and lead to an assignment of harsh
punishment (Sanderson, Zanna, & Darley, 2000). Moreover, in the judicial legal process, using
languages to deny full humanness of the offender may lead to harsh punishment (Myers, Godwin,
Latter, & Winstanley, 2004). Bastian, Denson, and Haslam (2013) observed positive associations
between the degree of perpetrators inhumanity and blame, jail sentence in years, sentence
harshness, and unsuitability for rehabilitation. These findings indicate that punishment of
criminal behavior should be considered with the perceived humanness of the offender.
The denial of full humanness to others can be explained through the notion of
dehumanization (Haslam, 2006), which has been argued to justify discrimination and harsh
treatment to the targets. For instance, in genocidal conflicts, both parties dehumanize each other
so that they can legitimize their mutually harmful actions (e.g., Chalk & Jonassohn, 1990). Apart
DEHUMANIZATION AND BLAME 4
from such an extreme case of intergroup conflict, people often dehumanize others in the forms of
prejudices and discrimination. Black people are implicitly associated with apes, even when
implicit prejudices are controlled for (Goff, Eberhadt, Williams, & Jackson, 2008). Women are
dehumanized while being denied their autonomy and moral consideration (Fredrickson &
Roberts, 1997). The denial of uniquely human attributes of a target may lead to greater
prejudiced attitudes and to less cooperation (Cuddy, Rock, & Norton, 2007).
Although dehumanization is observed in many interpersonal and intergroup contexts,
theoretical elaboration has been relatively undeveloped in the study of dehumanization (see
Haslam, 2006). Dehumanization has been argued to take place when secondary emotions are
denied (i.e., the phenomena called infrahumanization; Leynes et al., 2003). Secondary emotions
implicate uniquely human characteristics, such as morality, refinement, and intelligence. Persons
who are perceived to lack these attributes called human uniqueness (HU) are metaphorically
described as animals, due to their perceived lack of sophistication (Loughnan, Haslam, &
Kashima, 2009). Traits such as sympathetic, imaginative, and excitement are typical examples of
HU characteristics. Denying these HU traits and instead assigning other traits, such as active and
impulsive, is found in the process of animalization of individuals or certain social groups
(Loughnan et al., 2009).
Recent studies further show that lay perceivers not only link dehumanized targets to
animals, but also to machines (Haslam, 2006). Unlike animals, machines may certainly be
highly intelligent, helpful, and refined, but may lack naturally human characteristics, such as
warmth and compassion. This dimension called human nature (HN) has been demonstrated to
be orthogonal, both at the conceptual and empirical levels, to the dimension of HU mentioned
earlier (Haslam, 2006; Haslam, Bain, Douge, Lee, & Bastian, 2005). Individuals and groups are
DEHUMANIZATION AND BLAME 5
regarded as dehumanized along this dimension when typical HN traits such as openness, warmth,
and emotionality are denied, and when they are characterized by mechanized traits such as
unemotional, helpful, and passionless (Loughnan et al., 2009).
Previous studies have demonstrated that dehumanization on HU and HN dimensions
elicit different consequences of moral blame. With regard to human uniqueness, one
predominant view of humanness perception suggests that perpetrators who lack HU
characteristics were blamed less, compared with high HU perpetrators, for behaving immorally
due to their perceived lack of inhibitive agency and controllability (Bastian, Laham, Wilson,
Haslam, & Koval, 2011). Consider infants who are acquitted for their immoral behavior such as
hitting. They can easily be pardoned because they are dehumanized in the sense that they are
regarded as too immature cognitively to control themselves compared to adults (Gray, Gray, &
Wegner, 2007). As this example implicates, perpetrators may be excused from behaving
immorally when they are perceived to lack human capacity such as intentionality. Even though
this greater lenience for low HU actors is theoretically plausible, it may be limited to cases of
relatively minor immorality. Specifically, the study by Bastian et al. (2011) demonstrated this
effect, but the target issues were not extremely serious (e.g., not keeping a promise, pushing
someone out of the way, and so forth). On the contrary, evidence from other studies suggests that
a low HU individual committing a serious crime may be punished more harshly. For instance,
black defendants were less likely to be justified for beating when their personality characteristics
were associated with apes (Goff et al., 2008). Likewise, sex offenders were more likely to be
punished when they were associated with animals (Viki, Fullerton, Ragett, Tait, & Wiltshire,
2012). In view of these previous findings, we propose that a greater punishment for perpetrators
with animal-like (i.e., low HU) characteristics is likely, particularly for a severe crime.
DEHUMANIZATION AND BLAME 6
Turning to human nature, HN characteristics pertain to emotional and empathetic
capacity of humans, and are regarded as essential and fundamental to humans (Haslam, 2006;
Park, Haslam, & Kashima, 2011). Individuals with a high level of HN tend to elicit willingness
by others to protect because of their high emotionality (Bastian et al, 2011), and can be viewed to
have a higher chance to regret and rehabilitate. In contrast, those without HN characteristics,
often metaphorically characterized as machine-like, may invite severe punishment because of the
perceived lack of emotions such as pain and regret (Sanderson et al., 2000). However, the study
by Bastian et al. (2011) did not find any association between HN characteristics and blame for
immoral behaviors when other variables, such as HU, are controlled for. Because empirical
evidence concerning the relationship between HN and punitive tendency is still sparse, the
present study attempted to explore this more thoroughly.
In the present study, we examined the influence of dehumanization (i.e., animalization
and mechanization) on moral blame and sentence judgments concerning a hypothetical scenario
of a criminal trial. Based on the theoretical argument of Haslam (2006), we examined the impact
of animalization and mechanization separately on the dimensions of HU and HN, respectively.
We hypothesized that an animalized (i.e., low HU) defendant would be recommended for a
longer imprisonment compared with a high HU defendant in a case of serious crime. Likewise, a
mechanized (i.e., low HN) defendant would receive a more severe sentence than would a high
HN defendant. In addition to the sentence judgment, we also examined how perceived
humanness influences the view of the defendant concerning his capacity to make a moral choice
and to be corrected (i.e., intentionality and regret concerning the crime, and the prospect for
rehabilitation). Furthermore, negative behaviors are likely to generate dispositional attributions
rather than external and unstable attributions (Jones, 1990; Wong & Weiner, 1981). Particularly,
DEHUMANIZATION AND BLAME 7
internal attribution exerts decisions for punishment (Sanderson et al., 2000). Therefore, internal
versus external causality of the event was also measured in the present investigation. Taken
together, we predicted that capacity for control and correction, along with internal causality,
would be perceived to the extent that humanness (HU in particular) is perceived in the defendant.
Method
Defendant characteristics. In order to select adjectives that describe dehumanized and
humanized perpetrators, preliminary studies were conducted to distinguish 40 adjectives in
Japanese that described HU and HN dimensions (N = 72). Based on Bastian et al. (2009), the
degree to which each adjective described the HU dimension of humanness was measured by
asking the following question: Do you think the following characteristics are exclusively
experienced by human beings, or can animals also experience them? (1= strongly disagree, 7=
strongly agree). In contrast, HN was measured by asking: Do you think the following
characteristics are essential (i.e., necessary) for humans?” Participants were also asked to rate the
degree to which they thought each adjective described an animal-like and machine-like
(robot-like)” personality, rather than a human-like personality. Participants were assigned to rate
half of the adjectives for the four different questions. The order of the adjectives and the
questions was counterbalanced between participants. By taking five adjectives that scored high
on each question, we identified personality characteristics to describe high/low HU and high/low
HN targets. In order to distinguish independent but theoretically related characteristics to
describe human-like and in-human-like characters in Japanese, we did not select the adjectives
that scored high on both dimensions.
Based on the five adjectives for each level of humanness dimension, four different
descriptions of the target persons were created (see Appendix A). A high HU target possessed
DEHUMANIZATION AND BLAME 8
characteristics such as humble, polite, passionate, and reserved. In contrast, an animalized (i.e.,
low HU) perpetrator was depicted by characteristics such as active, timid, friendly, relaxed, and
impulsive. A preliminary test with 17 participants revealed that the high HU (M = 5.76, SE =
0.57) and low HU (M = 3.35, SE = 1.99) perpetrators were distinguished on a 7-point-scale of
asking the perceived degree of not animal-like. A high HN target was described as ambitious,
sympathetic, stingy, nervous, and thorough. A mechanized (i.e., low HN) target was unemotional,
selfless, helpful, even-tempered, and irresponsible. The high HN (M = 3.59, SE = 1.76) and low
HN (M = 2.65, SE = 0.99) were rated on the degree of not machine-like in an expected
direction. The scenarios were confirmed to represent different degrees and dimensions of
humanness.
Procedure. In total, 99 Japanese participants were randomly assigned to one of the four
conditions manipulated by different scenarios depicting characteristics of the target (see
Appendix A for more detail). After reading a scenario, they were asked to rate the degree of
dehumanization with respect to HU (i.e., How animal-like do you think the target is compared
to humans?) and HN (i.e., How machine-like do you think ?), on a 7-point scale (1=
human-like, 7= animal/machine-like). After the ratings, they were presented with an additional
scenario that described the criminal behavior. The scenario pertained to intentionally stabbing a
boss at work (see Appendix B for detail). Then, using a 7-point scale, they were asked to
evaluate the capacity of the defendant regarding perceived intentionality, regret, and the prospect
of likelihood of rehabilitation. They also estimated causes of the criminal behavior (1= internal,
7= external). Finally, participants were asked to assign the appropriate length of sentence to the
criminal. They were informed that the typical sentence would be a 10-year imprisonment, and
DEHUMANIZATION AND BLAME 9
then were asked to express their own sentence judgment. Finally, they were thoroughly debriefed
and thanked for their participation.
Results
We analyzed the effect of animalization and mechanization separately along the respective
dimensions of HU or HN on sentence judgment, the view of capacity, and causal attribution.
Summaries of mean and standard deviation scores are presented in Table 1 (animalization) and
Table 2 (mechanization).
Animalization
Manipulation check. To reveal whether we successfully manipulated the targets
animal-ness, we compared the ratings on animal-ness between high HU and low HU targets
using a t-test. There was a significant difference between high HU (M = 3.19, SE = 0.25) and low
HU (M = 5.83, SE = 0.18) targets on animal-ness ratings, t (48) = 8.39, p < .001. In line with our
intention to manipulate, participants perceived the low HU target as more animalistic than the
high HU target.
Sentence judgment. We tested whether or not there were differences in the judgment of
punishment. To evaluate the effect of animalization on the assignment of sentence, a t-test was
conducted while the length of sentence assignment was a dependent variable. Animalized
perpetrators were more likely to be assigned a longer sentence (M = 11.14, SE = 1.83) than high
HU perpetrators, (M = 7.76, SE = 0.56), t (48) = 1.80, p = .08, although the difference was
marginal. We found that the animalized defendant was punished more severely than the
humanized defendant.
Perceived capacity. First, in order to test the effect of animalization across intention,
regret, and rehabilitation possibility simultaneously, we conducted a multivariate analysis of
DEHUMANIZATION AND BLAME 10
variance (MANOVA). Boxs test for the assumption of equal covariance matrices was satisfied
(Boxs M = 5.35, p = .55). High HU and animalized targets differed significantly with respect to
the dependent variables, Hotellings T2 = 9.55, F (1, 48) =3.05, p = .038, ηp2 = .17. A post-hoc
univariate ANOVA was conducted to examine the differences between high HU and animalized
defendants on each dependent variable. There was a significant difference between the
dehumanization levels on rehabilitation estimate, F (1, 48) =8.46, p = .005, ηp2 = .15. The
animalized defendant was less likely to be expected to rehabilitate after imprisonment (M = 4.13,
SE = 0.27) than the high HU defendant (M = 5.19, SE = 0.25). Moreover, a marginally
significant effect of animalization was found on the ratings of regret. The animalized defendant
was expected to regret less (M = 3.83, SE = 0.31) than the humanized defendant (M = 4.69, SE =
0.33), F (1, 48) =3.60, p = .064, ηp2 = .07. Intention did not differ between the high HU and
animalized defendant, F < 1. That is, animalization had an effect on the views of the defendants
capacity. Rehabilitation had the greatest weight on the difference between high HU and
animalized defendants. In line with the findings of Bastian et al. (2011), animalization predicted
incapacity in correcting own behaviors.
Causal attribution. Next, we conducted a t-test to examine the effect of animalization on
causal attribution. Internal attribution of the cause of the criminal behavior implies an
expectation of the influence of animalization. Results showed that there was a significant
difference between high HU and low HU (i.e., animalized) defendants on the attribution of the
cause of the event. Participants tended to attribute causes of the criminal behavior to internal
rather than external factors for the animalized defendant (M = 2.96, SE = 0.32) than the high HU
defendant (M = 4.00, SE = 0.35), t (48) = 2.20, p = .03.
DEHUMANIZATION AND BLAME 11
Overall, the animalized defendant was blamed more than the high HU defendant. The
animalized defendant was perceived as incapable of regret and rehabilitate, and the cause of his
criminal behavior was apparently attributed to such incapacity.
Mechanization
Manipulation check. We tested whether participants differentiated the humanness of the
high HN and low HN target. A t-test was conducted to compare the ratings between the high HN
and low HN target on the degree of mechanization. As expected, the low HN target (M = 6.17,
SE = 0.40) was rated to be more machine-like than the high HN target (M = 4.40, SE = 0.19), t
(47) = 3.98, p < .001. These results indicate that our manipulation was successful.
Sentence judgment. Sentence judgment did not differ between dehumanization levels on
the HU dimension, t (47) = 1.19, p = .24. Although there was a tendency for participants to
evaluate the mechanized defendant more harshly (M = 11.43, SE = 2.05) than the humanized
defendant (M = 8.86, SE = 0.86), the difference was not statistically significant.
Perceived capacity. We conducted a MANOVA for different levels of dehumanization
to simultaneously compare the ratings on rehabilitation possibility, regret, and intention. The
assumption of equality of covariance matrices was satisfied (Boxs M = 5.41, p =.54). There was
a moderate difference between the dehumanization levels on the combined dependent variables,
Hotellings T2 = 8.23, F (1, 47) =2.62, p = .062,ηp2 = .149. Post-hoc univariate ANOVAs were
performed to examine differences between high HN and mechanized defendants on each
dependent variable. There was a significant effect of the dehumanization level on rehabilitation,
F (1, 47) = 5.86, p = .02, ηp2 = .11. The high HN defendant was expected to rehabilitate better
(M = 4.16, SE = 0.37) than the mechanized defendant (M = 2.92, SE = 0.31). Regret was also
affected by the level of dehumanization, F (1, 47) = 6.58, p = .01, ηp2 = .12. A stronger feeling
DEHUMANIZATION AND BLAME 12
of regret was expected for the high HN defendant (M = 4.16, SE = 0.37) compared with the
mechanized defendant (M = 2.92, SE = 0.31). Intention was not predicted by the level of
dehumanization, F (1, 47) = 1.26, p = .25, ηp2 = .03. These patterns of results were similar to
those found on the HU dimension. Dehumanized defendants were considered to be relatively less
likely than humanized perpetrators to regret and to rehabilitate.
Causal attribution. Causal attribution was compared between the mechanized (low HN)
and humanized (high HN) defendant. We did not find a significant difference in the direction of
the causal attribution between mechanized and humanized defendants, t (47) < 1. The
mechanized defendants criminal behavior was attributed to internal factors (M = 3.42, SE =
0.31) to the same extent as that of the high HN defendant (M = 3.40, SE = 0.34).
Discussion
In the present study, we manipulated different types of dehumanized criminals, and
investigated the effect of it on judgment of the criminals capacity, cause of the event, and
punishment. We identified traits to describe different degrees and kinds of humanness, and
successfully differentiated animalized and mechanized targets from humanized targets. An
animalized perpetrator was more likely than a high HU perpetrator to be judged as animal-like,
and a mechanized perpetrator was more likely than a high HN perpetrator to be judged as
machine-like. By using these manipulated scenarios, we demonstrated the direct influence of
dehumanization on blame and sentence judgment. Furthermore, we found that animalization
endorsed greater punishment. In contrast, mechanization of the criminal did not influence
harshness of the sentence assignment. These findings are in line with Bastian et al. (2011), who
argued that the HU dimension is related to moral blame, while the HN dimension is not. We
showed that the same criminal behavior could have been interpreted and judged differently
DEHUMANIZATION AND BLAME 13
depending on the perpetrators personality characteristics, especially their animal-ness. The
findings imply a critical influence of lay intuition about a defendants personality on judicial
decisions. Nevertheless, it is possible that the criminal scenario presented in this study elicited a
unique effect of animalization on punishment. Indeed, using a knife to stab his boss was perhaps
more likely to be associated with animal-ness than machine-ness. Further studies should
consider the effect of other types of criminal cases in influencing blame and punishment.
The evaluations of animalization and mechanization differently impacted punishment,
and this could be a result of the difference in the direction of causal attribution. Participants
attributed the animalized defendants criminal behavior to internal causes (e.g., personality)
rather than external causes (e.g., working environment). It seems plausible that participants
tended to punish the animalized target more severely than the humanized target because they
thought his personality accounted for the criminal action. However, the influence of
dehumanization on the internal attribution was not observed on the HN dimension. In other
words, participants did not differentiate the mechanized and the high HN defendants on the
estimation of causality, and this may have resulted in the non-significant difference in the
severity of punishment on the HN dimension. These different patterns of results between HN and
HU dimensions were observed probably due to the variability in perceived desire. Based on the
argument of Malle (1999), behaviors are explained using mental status of the actor. Actors
without sophisticated ability to control their own actions are interpreted to act based on their
desire rather than beliefs. In other words, animalistic targets were expected to have desire
to perform the criminal behavior, while mechanistic targets were judged to have beliefs to do
so. The criminal act of the present scenario depicted urgent desire of a man to stub his boss.
Because the act did not require rationality or deliberative thoughts, internal attribution was made
DEHUMANIZATION AND BLAME 14
when the target was animalized, but not when he was mechanized, due to the association
between the criminal behavior and the perceived desire.
Furthermore, Bastian et al. (2011) argued that targets without high HU characteristics get
a pardon from immoral behaviors due to their incapacity to control their own behavior. On the
contrary, we observed a positive association between animalization and severe punishment, with
animalization predicting the view of incapable defendant. One interpretation of this discrepancy
concerns the difference in severity of the immoral behavior. While Bastian et al. (2011) used
minor immoral behaviors (e.g., cheating), we used a serious illegal conduct (e.g., stabbing) in the
scenario. It is possible that the low HU characteristics are more likely to be associated with
severe crimes than with minor wrongdoings. Another interpretation would be our use of
animalized characteristics instead of explaining lack of HU characteristics. Indeed, HU
characteristics and animal-ness characteristics correlate negatively, but they do not fully
correspond to each other (Loughnan, et al., 2009). In other words, a target that lacks high HU
characteristics is not necessarily equal to a target person who has animalized characteristics. Our
findings are unique in the sense that they demonstrate, for the first time in the literature, a direct
influence of animalization on punishment in a legal context. This indicates that the effect of
animalization and perceived lack of HU characteristics are empirically distinct in terms of the
effects on punishment (see Bastian et al., 2011).
As a new judicial system has been administered in Japan since 2009, ordinary citizens
have begun to join professional judges to make sentence judgment. Lay perceivers intuitive
tendency to evaluate dehumanized targets as impulsive (i.e., in cases for animalization) may
influence the sentence judgment, on top of objective facts about the criminal behaviors. It is
DEHUMANIZATION AND BLAME 15
especially important for a society like Japan to investigate the interactive effect between
dehumanization of perpetrators and criminal behaviors on blame and sentence decisions.
DEHUMANIZATION AND BLAME 16
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DEHUMANIZATION AND BLAME 19
Table 1: Mean Ratings (and Standard Deviations) in Animalization, Sentence, Capability, and
Causal Attribution on the Human Uniqueness (HU) Dimension
MSD MSD
Animal-ness 5.83 0.87 3.19 1.30
11.14 8.95 7.76 2.79
Capacity Rehabilitation 4.13 1.33 5.19 1.27
Regret 3.83 1.52 4.69 1.67
Intention 4.29 1.99 4.31 1.64
2.96 1.57 4.00 1.77
External Attribution
low HU
high HU
Sentence
Note. The low HU represents the animalized defendant
Table 2: Mean Ratings (and Standard Deviations) in Animalization, Sentence, Capability, and
Causal Attribution on the Human Nature (HN) Dimension
MSD MSD
Machine-ness 6.17 0.92 4.40 1.98
11.43 9.84 8.86 4.30
Capacity Rehabilitation 3.67 1.20 4.64 1.58
Regret 2.92 1.53 4.16 1.84
Intention 4.88 1.78 4.28 1.79
3.42 1.50 3.40 1.71
low HN
high HN
Note. The low HN represents the mechanized defendant
DEHUMANIZATION AND BLAME 20
Appendix A
Target descriptions, each started with a statement Mr. X (28 years old) has been working as a
full-time office worker since he graduated university.”
Humanness
HU (Human Uniqueness)
HN (Human Nature)
Level
High
His passionate personality is
illustrated at his work that Mr. X
has been working hard to earn
his best. Thanks to people
around me is what he often says,
and he is always trying to be
humble and says that he
appreciates his colleagues for
success in his work. His neighbors
explain his politeness by saying
that Mr. X usually greets us in a
polite way. He is also very
reserved. He does not like to
spend much money.
The nervous personality of Mr. X
has been making him sensitive about
his neighbors sound. His work desk
shows his thorough personality in
that it is always neatly organized --
his folders are alphabetically
ordered. He is also known to be
stingy. He once asked for a penny
when he was separating fees for
dinner with his colleagues. His
colleague says He must be
sympathetic because I have seen
him cheering up for his colleague
who was in a trouble.
Low
Mr. X constantly moves around
to chat with others. He is so
friendly and active that his
personality doesnt suit for desk
work. Because of his impulsive
personality, he sometimes cannot
fight down his impulse to spend a
lot of money on shopping. His
colleague thinks that Mr. X is
timid because Mr. X has once
rejected his request to go
skydiving.
Mr. X has never got emotional
despite troubles at work. His boss
thinks that he is helpful, saying that
he always follows my order.
When there was a trouble at work,
however, he never admitted his
fault and said I just did what I was
ordered to do. This episode shows
that he may be irresponsible. He is
known to be even-tempered, and
his colleague says that I never
know what he is thinking about.
DEHUMANIZATION AND BLAME 21
Appendix B
A description of a criminal behavior
Mr. X has been holding grudges against his boss. One day, he was accused of
making mistakes by the boss. This drove Mr. X into a fury. He took out a knife from
his desk drawer and slashed the boss with the knife. His colleagues called an
ambulance and the police. Despite being stabbed deeply, his boss did not lose his life.
Because he was hiding the knife in his desk, the police noted that Mr. X must
have been prepared enough for the criminal behavior.
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