Economic objectification is a form of dehumanization in which workers are treated as tools for enhancing productivity. It can lead to self-objectification in the workplace, which is when people perceive themselves as instruments for work. This can cause burnout, emotional drain, and a modification of self-perception that involves a loss of human attributes such as emotions and reasoning while focusing on others’ perspectives for evaluating the self. Research on workers self-objectification has mainly analyzed the consequences of this process without exploring the brain activity that underlies the individual’s experiences of self-objectification. Thus, this project explores the electroencephalographic (EEG) changes that occur in participants during an economic objectifying task that resembled a job in an online store. After the task, a self-objectification questionnaire was applied and its resulting index was used to label the participants as self-objectified or non-self-objectified. The changes over time in EEG event-related synchronization (ERS) and partial directed coherence (PDC) were calculated and compared between the self-objectification groups. The results show that the main differences between the groups in ERS and PDC occurred in the beta and gamma frequencies, but only the PDC results correlated with the self-objectification group. These results provide information for further understanding workers’ self-objectification. These EEG changes could indicate that economic self-objectification is associated with changes in vigilance, boredom, and mind-wandering.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We acknowledge the support from the Centre for Social Conflict and Cohesion Studies—COES (ANID/FONDAP/15130009).
This research was funded by the Agencia Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo—ANID-through the program FONDECYT Postdoctorado 2020 [Project number 3200031: Mario Sainz].
© 2022 by the authors.