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Deceiving science: the role of descriptive norm- and self-discrepancies in the transgression of behavioral science norms

Rouwenhorst, Debbie (2016) Deceiving science: the role of descriptive norm- and self-discrepancies in the transgression of behavioral science norms.

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Abstract:This study assesses a possible explanation as to why some scientist deem more responsive to social pressures that could increase their tendency to engage in deviant scientific behavior than others. It explored what influence incompatibilities between different parts of a scientist’s self-image have on the likelihood to engage deviant scientific behavior. Additionally it was assessed if more norm-deviant behavior of others increases the intention of individuals to engage in deviant scientific behavior. The data was collected under Dutch speaking students of Dutch Universities using a quantitative survey with two conditions: a High Descriptive Norm Discrepancy vs. a Low Descriptive Norm Discrepancy condition. The findings showed that people that experienced a greater gap between their actual self and their descriptive self report higher levels of Contempt towards the scientific community. Having higher feelings of Contempt again resulted in reporting a greater intention to engage in deviant scientific behavior. The gap between the actual self and ideal self also positively influenced the intention to engage in deviant scientific behavior, yet not through the suggested, indirect route via emotions. No support was found for the influence of the gap between the norm and the behavior of significant others. Future research should further assess the validity of self-discrepancies in different contexts, just as the direction of emotions that could influence the effects discrepancies have. Limitations of the study were the selected sample and the selected method of gathering data.
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/71403
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