The higher they are, the harder they fall: The effects of wrongdoer status on observer punishment recommendations and intentionality attributions
AbstractIn two studies, we explore whether the status of a wrongdoer affects observers' attributions for the wrongdoer's actions and opinions about the wrongdoer's deserved punishment. We find that observers attribute greater intentionality to the actions of high status wrongdoers than the identical actions of low status wrongdoers, and consequently recommend more severe punishments for the former than the latter. Additionally, we find that the relationship between a wrongdoer's status and observers' attributions is driven by observers' perceptions of the wrongdoer's underlying social motives: high status wrongdoers are presumed to be more interested in their own welfare (self-concerned), and less interested in the welfare of others (other-concerned), than low status individuals. These findings have implications for the psychology of retributive justice, and suggest that punitive reactions may be influenced as much by characteristics of the criminal as they are by characteristics of the crime.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.
Volume (Year): 108 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/obhdp
Social status Wrongdoers Wrongdoings Transgressions Attributions Intentionality Retribution Retributive justice Punishment;
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Fragale, Alison R., 2006. "The power of powerless speech: The effects of speech style and task interdependence on status conferral," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 101(2), pages 243-261, November.
- Tiedens, Larissa Z., 2001. "Anger and Advancement versus Sadness and Subjugation: The Effect of Negative Emotion Expressions on Social Status Conferral," Research Papers 1615, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
- Agrawal, Nidhi & Han, DaHee & Duhachek, Adam, 2013. "Emotional agency appraisals influence responses to preference inconsistent information," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 120(1), pages 87-97.
- Caza, Brianna Barker & Tiedens, Larissa & Lee, Fiona, 2011. "Power becomes you: The effects of implicit and explicit power on the self," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 114(1), pages 15-24, January.
- Hamilton, Rebecca W. & Puntoni, Stefano & Tavassoli, Nader T., 2010. "Categorization by groups and individuals," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 70-81, May.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wendy Shamier).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.