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Rejecting victims of misfortune reduces delay discounting

Callan, MJ and Harvey, AJ and Sutton, RM (2014) 'Rejecting victims of misfortune reduces delay discounting.' Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 51. 41 - 44. ISSN 0022-1031

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Abstract

The derogation of innocent victims may bolster perceivers' implicit faith that the world is a just place. A key theoretical outcome of this faith is the ability to put aside smaller, short-term rewards for larger, long-term rewards. The empirical relation between victim derogation and participants' preferences for smaller-sooner versus larger-later rewards was examined in two studies using delay-discounting paradigms. In Study 1 (n=381), the more college students and Internet users derogated a victim of misfortune, the less they subsequently discounted larger-later rewards, but only when their faith in justice was threatened (perpetrators of the misfortune were unpunished). In Study 2 (n=238), informing Internet users that a victim was of bad (versus good) moral character decreased delay discounting. These results demonstrate that derogating victims of misfortune, although damaging to others, yields an important psychological benefit for the self by putting aside smaller-sooner rewards for larger-later rewards. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Clare Chatfield
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2014 15:16
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2019 18:16
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/9288

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