The effect of admitting fault versus shifting blame on expectations for others to do the same

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A wealth of research has investigated how and why people cast blame. However, less is known about blame-shifting (i.e., blaming someone else for one’s own failures) and how exposure to a blame-shifting agent might lead to expectations that other agents will also shift blame. The present research tested whether exposure to a blame-shifting (versus responsibility-taking) agent would lead perceivers to expect a second, unrelated target to also shift blame. Contrary to our expectations, people expected greater blame-shifting after exposure to a responsible agent, particularly when perceivers were surprised by this reaction to failure. Discussion focuses on how people habitually expect some people to shift blame for their mishaps, and how expectancy violations when people act in unexpected ways predict the extent to which perceivers expect unrelated agents to also shift blame.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0213276
JournalPLoS One
Volume14
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 7 2019

Keywords

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Judgment
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Moral Obligations
  • Morals
  • Motivation
  • Prejudice
  • Social Perception
  • Young Adult

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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