‘You Treated Me Like an Object, I Don’t Forgive You!’: The Effect of Dehumanization on Interpersonal Forgiveness from the Victim’s Perspective


Interpersonal Forgiveness

How to Cite

Pica, G., & Fino, E. (2022). ‘You Treated Me Like an Object, I Don’t Forgive You!’: The Effect of Dehumanization on Interpersonal Forgiveness from the Victim’s Perspective. International Journal of Psychological Research, 15(2). https://doi.org/10.21500/20112084.5695


Introduction. There is a gap in the literature on the impact of the perceptions of a victim of an offense upon their forgiveness towards the offender, particularly when those perceptions include dehumanization. Objectives. The present cross-sectional exploratory study aimed at examining whether the perceptions of being treated in a dehumanized fashion influences interpersonal forgiveness, avoidance, and revenge intentions of dehumanized victims towards the offender. Method. We recruited 149 individuals from the general population, who took part in an online task, consisting of remembering an offense they had been victim of and of a set of self-reported measures of dehumanization (uniqueness and nature), interpersonal forgiveness, avoidance, and revenge intentions. We used multiple linear regression to test the study’s hypotheses. Results. The perceived denial of the victims’ human uniqueness was not associated with the dependent variables, whereas the perceived denial of the victims’ human nature was significantly and negatively associated with interpersonal forgiveness and positively with avoidance and revenge intentions, after controlling for the effects of a set of known covariates. Conclusions. The results revealed a role for dehumanization (nature) in predicting the victims’ interpersonal forgiveness, avoidance, and revenge intentions. Implications for further research are discussed.



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