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The social power of regret: the effect of social appraisal and anticipated emotions on fair and unfair allocations in resource dilemmas

van der Schalk, Job, Kuppens, Toon, Bruder, Martin and Manstead, Antony S. R. 2015. The social power of regret: the effect of social appraisal and anticipated emotions on fair and unfair allocations in resource dilemmas. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 144 (1) , pp. 151-157. 10.1037/xge0000036

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Abstract

We investigated how another person’s emotions about resource allocation decisions influence observers’ resource allocations by influencing the emotions that observers anticipate feeling if they were to act in the same way. Participants were exposed to an exemplar who made a fair or unfair division in an economic game and expressed pride or regret about this decision. Participants then made their own resource allocation decisions. Exemplar regret about acting fairly decreased the incidence of fair behavior (Studies 1A and 1B). Likewise, exemplar regret about acting unfairly increased the incidence of fair behavior (Study 2). The effect of others’ emotions on observers’ behavior was mediated by the observers’ anticipated emotions. We discuss our findings in light of the view that social appraisal and anticipated emotions are important tools for social learning and may contribute to the formation and maintenance of social norms about greed and fairness.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Publisher: American Psychological Association
ISSN: 0096-3445
Funders: ESRC, ESF
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 3 October 2014
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2020 18:15
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/65676

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