60th Symposium on Motivation opens today

The Department of Psychology on April 16 and 17 will host the 60th annual Symposium on Motivation, an internationally renowned gathering of scholars of psychology. This year the conference will focus on the theme "Objectification and (De)Humanization."

The symposium, the longest-running symposium series in the field of psychology, will bring together leading international experts to present relevant research on the motivational perspectives involved when objects and animals are humanized and humans are dehumanized or objectified. For example, people often treat their pets, technology, and the environment in human-like ways. As well, people often dehumanize or objectify other people, particularly women, poor people or others regarded as different. People can even take on objectifying views of themselves. These everyday behaviors can lay the foundation for more extreme behaviors, including violence, mental health disorders, or discrimination and have implications for human and animal rights. The speakers will consider these issues from various viewpoints, including biological and social perspectives.

Some highlights of the program include these lectures:

— Rachel Calogero, Virginia Wesleyan College, "Objects Don't Object: An Integrative System Justification Perspective on Objectification"

— Nicholas Epley, University of Chicago, "Humanization: Motivated Perception of Pets as People and People as Animals"

— Susan Fiske, Princeton University, "Varieties of (De)Humanizing Experience"

— Jamie Goldenberg, University of South Florida, "Immortal Objects: The Objectification of Women as Terror Management"

— Nicholas Haslam, University of Melbourne, "Bodies and Beasts, Minds and Meat, Objects and Otherness"

— Bonnie Moradi, University of Florida, "Toward a Pantheoretical Framework for Understanding the Mental Health Implications of Dehumanization Experiences: An Integration of Objectification and Minority Stress Theories"

For more information about the symposium, go to http://go.unl.edu/motivation. Registration is offered on-site. All symposium events are in the Nebraska Union and are free and open to the public.

Organizers have made arrangements to stream live video from the symposium online at http://real.unl.edu/html5/live_2.php. Viewers will need Flash installed on their browsers to view the video.

Each year, the conference focuses on a different topic and brings together top scholars from around the world. Presenters write a chapter for an edited book that is distributed to libraries around the world.

The symposium is supported by gifts from the Office of UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman and Cora L. Friedline in memory of Harry K. Wolfe, her professor and founder of UNL's psychology department.

— Jean Ortiz Jones, University Communications