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Title: People as intuitive prosecutors: The impact of social-control goals on attributions of responsibility
Authors: Tetlock, P.E.
Rescober, P.
Visser, P.S.
Singh, R. 
Polifroni, M.
Scott, A.
Elson, S.B.
Mazzocco, P.
Keywords: Accountability
Intuitive prosecutor
Severity effect
Social control
Issue Date: 2007
Citation: Tetlock, P.E., Rescober, P., Visser, P.S., Singh, R., Polifroni, M., Scott, A., Elson, S.B., Mazzocco, P. (2007). People as intuitive prosecutors: The impact of social-control goals on attributions of responsibility. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 43 (2) : 195-209. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Three experiments explored determinants of punitive character attributions to norm violators. Experiment 1 showed that ideological conservatism and manipulated threat to society increased anger and attributional punitiveness when there was ambiguity about culpability. Experiment 2 showed that informing observers that norm violations were widespread and rarely punished increased attributional punitiveness by activating anger-charged retributive goals. Experiment 3 showed that liberals and conservatives alike felt justified in assigning greater blame to high-status perpetrators who commit acts of negligence with more severe consequences but that only conservatives felt justified in doing so for low-status perpetrators. Overall, the results reinforce the hypothesis that societal threat activates a prosecutorial mindset identifiable by a correlated cluster of attributions, emotions, punishment goals and punitiveness. © 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Source Title: Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
ISSN: 00221031
DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2006.02.009
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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