I am in the process of applying for PhD programs, and while I was getting things ready for my Duke application, I came across an article on the Psychology Today website that was both disgusting and gratifying, in an odd way: It reported about and New York ad agency using homeless people being used as objects.

In itself, this is not surprising.  I’ve see the way my clients are treated and exploited, even by other local agencies that purport to help them. This article, though, even goes so far as to cite a researcher at Duke (one I would like to study under, actually) who did a study and found that  homeless people are perceived as objects, essentially. The part of the brain that recognizes when being presented with a photo of a human doesn’t light up and get active when when shown a photo of a homeless person.

Seriously? On a brain level, homeless people aren’t even seen as people? That’s amazing, and in a strange way, it’s gratifying to see my hunch about exploitation scientifically proven.  Now – how to change this?

 

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