Can priming your self lead to punishing others?

Joshua Sandry, Gayle Hunt, Stephen Rice, David Trafimow, Kasha Geels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Previous research has shown that priming the individual self can increase the accessibility of individual self-cognitions. In turn, we hypothesized that blame for immoral behaviors also would increase, leading to higher assignments of punishment, but that the size of this effect would depend on whether the behaviors violated perfect or imperfect duties. To test these hypotheses, participants assigned yearly bonus penalties to employees who had performed dishonest, disloyal, unfriendly, or uncharitable acts. As expected, the individual prime increased punishments, and this effect was accentuated for violations of perfect duties relative to violations of imperfect duties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-534
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Social Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • collective
  • duties
  • imperfect
  • individual
  • perfect
  • self-priming


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