(Still) Modern Times: Objectification at work

Luca Andrighetto, Cristina Baldissarri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A great deal of research has investigated gender-related objectification. In the current work, we aim to extend the empirical research on this phenomenon to the working domain. Consistent with several theoretical assumptions, we expected that factory workers would be objectified as a consequence of their work. In Study 1, we showed that each of the critical features of factory work (i.e., repetitiveness of movements, fragmentation of activities and dependence on the machine) significantly affected the view of the worker as an instrument (vs. a human being) and as less able to experience human mental states. Coherently, we found that factory workers, unlike artisans, were perceived as more instrument-like (Study 2) and as less able to experience mental states (Study 3) when participants were asked to focus on the target's manual activities rather than on the target as a person. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are considered.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Factory workers
  • Mental states
  • Objectification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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