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Judging offences: The role of group- and self-affirmation on the evaluation of in-group offenders.

Scheepens, R.A.M. (2013) Judging offences: The role of group- and self-affirmation on the evaluation of in-group offenders.

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Abstract:The main focus of this study was to investigate how people evaluate in-group offenders. On the one hand, the social identity theory (Tajfel & Turner, 1986) suggests that in-group offenders are evaluated more lenient. On the other hand, there is evidence that in-group offenders are evaluated more harshly, known as the Black Sheep Effect (Marques, Yzerbyt & Leyens, 1988). The current study investigated which variables initiate one response pattern over the other, and the factors that set in motion the transition from leniency to the Black Sheep Effect (BSE). The study comprised of a questionnaire amongst the Dutch working population (N = 405). Based on the reviewed literature, the current study focused on three independent variables; affirmation (self vs. group vs. control), group membership (in-group vs. out-group) and offence severity (low vs. high). The expected leniency-effect in the group-affirmation condition and BSE in the self-affirmation condition, were not supported by the results. The group-membership of the offender had some influence on the evaluation, but there was no support for the predicted leniency-effect for light in-group offences or BSE for heavy in-group offences. The offence severity had a significant effect on the evaluation of the offender; light offences were evaluated more lenient and heavy offences were evaluated more harshly. In conclusion, the results indicated a role for offence severity on the evaluation of an offender, but the effects of affirmation and group-membership were not fully supported.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/63543
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