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Darker Demons of our Nature: The Prevalence and Potency of Blatant Forms of Dehumanization
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. I argue for the need to re-orient the research agenda towards understanding when and why individuals blatantly dehumanize others. I 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. I also discuss recent intervention efforts aimed at reducing blatant dehumanization and its consequences.