When work does not ennoble man: Psychological consequences of working objectification

Cristina Baldissarri, Luca Andrighetto, Chiara Volpato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study aims at expanding research on objectification by exploring the consequences of being objectified in a real work setting. Building on previous literature on this field, we hypothesized that perceptions of being treated as an instrument by one's own foreman would be positively related with workers' tendency to objectify themselves (i.e., to perceive themselves as lacking human mental states). Further, we proposed the two key dimensions of job burnout (i.e., exhaustion and cynicism) as the psychological mechanisms underlying the relationship between other- and self-objectification. A double mediation model supported our expectations: workers' perception of being objectified by their foremen were positively related with increased exhaustion, which in turn heightened the levels of workers' cynicism. In turn, cynicism negatively affected the self-attribution of human mental states. Results are discussed in terms of their theoretical and practical implications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-339
Number of pages13
JournalTPM - Testing, Psychometrics, Methodology in Applied Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2014


  • Job burnout
  • Mental states
  • Objectification
  • Workers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)


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