Effects of instrumentalization and personalization upon targets and agents
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] To better understand the effects of instrumentalization (i.e., treating a person as a means—as though their value resides in their utility) and personalization (i.e., treating a person as an end—as though their value is inherent), two (and a half) experiments were conducted. Studies 1-A and 1-B used in-lab interactions with a research study facilitator to experimentally manipulate the experience of being instrumentalized versus personalized (versus a neutral control condition) by researchers conducting the study. The affective and attitudinal impacts of being treated these different ways were examined. Study 2 employed a recall prime (“Think of a time when…”) in an online survey to manipulate the experience of engaging in instrumentalization versus personalization of (versus engaging in a neutral control social interaction with) another person. Affect and interpersonal attitudes were again examined. While Studies 1-A and 1-B largely failed to find support for predicted differences between conditions, Study 2's findings were more encouraging. Though the implicit measure of moral emotions did not work out as predicted in Study 2, the explicit measures all did, with the instrumentalization condition reporting higher negative affect and guilt/shame and lower positive affect than the other two conditions.
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