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The love of money results in objectification.

Wang, X; Krumhuber, EG; (2017) The love of money results in objectification. British Journal of Social Psychology , 56 (2) pp. 354-372. 10.1111/bjso.12158. Green open access

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Abstract

Objectification, which refers to the treatment of others as objectlike things, has long been observed in capitalism. While the negative impact of money on interpersonal harmony has been well documented, the social cognitive processes that underlie them are relatively unknown. Across four studies, we explored whether the love of money leads to objectification, while controlling for social power and status. In Study 1, the love and importance attached to money positively predicted the tendency to construe social relationships based on instrumentality. In Study 2, the likelihood to favour a target of instrumental use was increased by momentarily activating an affective state of being rich. Temporarily heightening the motivation for money further resulted in deprivation of mental capacities of irrelevant others, including humans (Study 3) and animals (Study 4). This lack of perceived mental states partially mediated the effects of money on subsequent immoral behaviour (Study 4). The findings are the first to reveal the role of objectification as a potential social cognitive mechanism for explaining why money often harms interpersonal harmony.

Type: Article
Title: The love of money results in objectification.
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/bjso.12158
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1111/bjso.12158
Language: English
Additional information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Wang, X. and Krumhuber, E. G. (2016), The love of money results in objectification. Br. J. Soc. Psychol., which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjso.12158. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Keywords: Immorality, instrumentality, market-pricing mode, mental state, money, objectification
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1528729
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