The Paradox of Viral Outrage
2018; 29 (10): 1665–78
Moral outrage has traditionally served a valuable social function, expressing group values and inhibiting deviant behavior, but the exponential dynamics of Internet postings make this expression of legitimate individual outrage appear excessive and unjust. The same individual outrage that would be praised in isolation is more likely to be viewed as bullying when echoed online by a multitude of similar responses, as it then seems to contribute to disproportionate group condemnation. Participants ( N = 3,377) saw racist, sexist, or unpatriotic posts with accompanying expressions of outrage and formed impressions of a single commenter. The same commenter was viewed more negatively when accompanied by a greater number of commenters (i.e., when outrage was viral vs. nonviral), and this was because viral outrage elicited greater sympathy toward the initial offender. We examined this effect and its underlying processes across six studies.
View details for DOI 10.1177/0956797618780658
View details for Web of Science ID 000446863000009
View details for PubMedID 30091685
Power Heightens Sensitivity to Unfairness Against the Self
PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY BULLETIN
2015; 41 (8): 1023-1035
Power is accompanied by a sense of entitlement, which shapes reactions to self-relevant injustices. We propose that powerful people more strongly expect to be treated fairly and are faster to perceive unjust treatment that violates these expectations. After preliminary data demonstrated that power leads people to expect fair outcomes for themselves, we conducted four experiments. Participants primed with high (vs. low) power were faster to identify violations of distributive justice in which they were victims (Study 1). This effect was specific to self-relevant injustices (Study 2) and generalized to violations of interpersonal justice (Study 3). Finally, participants primed with high power were more likely to take action against unfair treatment (Study 4). These findings suggest a process by which hierarchies may be maintained: Whereas the powerless are comparatively less sensitive to unfair treatment, the powerful may retain their social standing by quickly perceiving and responding to self-relevant injustices.
View details for DOI 10.1177/0146167215588755
View details for Web of Science ID 000357803100001
View details for PubMedID 26048859
- Moral Suspicion Trickles Down SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL AND PERSONALITY SCIENCE 2015; 6 (3): 334-342