University of Twente Student Theses


Affirming Yourself as Imagined Offender: Its Impact on Victim Empathy, Responsibility-Taking and Apology Intention

Smeenk, N (2022) Affirming Yourself as Imagined Offender: Its Impact on Victim Empathy, Responsibility-Taking and Apology Intention.

[img] PDF
Abstract:Offering an apology and reparation to their victim places offenders in a vulnerable position, which can make it difficult for offenders to take this big step and participate in restorative justice. Several psychological processes have been shown to motivate offenders to apologize and repair, like empathic concern, perspective-taking, and responsibility-taking. However, these processes can induce a threat to the moral self-image. A way to possibly buffer against this threat is by means of self-affirmation. The current study therefore investigated the effect of self-affirmation among imagined offenders on empathic concern for the victim, taking the perspective of the victim, responsibility-taking, and willingness to apologize and repair. A total of 105 participants either did a self-affirmation task (i.e. choosing a most important core value, and writing about it) or a control task (i.e. choosing a favourite landscape picture, and writing about it) before taking the perspective of a victim in a 360° video. Results did not show an effect of self-affirmation (yes versus no) on the dependent variables. However, results of additional exploratory analysis did show that it seems to depend on what type of core value the imagined offender focuses on whether one feels empathy for the victim, is willing to take the perspective of the victim, takes responsibility, and is willing to apologize and repair. Based on these results, the recommendation for offenders participating in restorative justice is to reflect on a core value based on morality, like respect or trust. However, future research is needed to confirm this suggestion.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:
Export this item as:BibTeX
HTML Citation
Reference Manager


Repository Staff Only: item control page