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Justice motive effects in ageism: The effects of a victim's age on observer perceptions of injustice and punishment judgments

Callan, MJ and Dawtry, RJ and Olson, JM (2012) 'Justice motive effects in ageism: The effects of a victim's age on observer perceptions of injustice and punishment judgments.' Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48 (6). 1343 - 1349. ISSN 0022-1031

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Abstract

Drawing on just-world theory and research showing that older persons are generally assigned a devalued status in society, we examined the impact of an innocent victim's age on observer perceptions of injustice and punishment reactions. In three experiments, we demonstrated that observers perceived the suffering of an older (vs. younger) person as less unfair, which, in turn, reduced their willingness to punish the harm doer. In Study 1, participants rated a car accident as less unfair and consequently punished the harm doer less when the victim was older. In Study 2, participants recommended punishing a harm doer less when the victim was older (vs. younger) when the need to believe in a just world was threatened (i.e., only when the victim was innocent). In Study 3, only participants higher in ageism perceived the suffering of an older (vs. younger) victim as less unfair and, consequently, recommended less punishment for the harm doer. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2013 11:00
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2019 18:16
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/5690

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