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A Victim Who Hasn't Been Wronged Yet: Can Events in the Future Make Us Selfish in the Present?

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Author: Gano, Dolores A.
Advisor: Story, Paul A.
Committee Members: Stevens, Jennifer A.; Aday, David P.
Issued Date: 2012
Subjects: Selfish behavior
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10288/16750
Description: In two experiments, the researchers expanded on previous findings by examining the behavioral effects brought about when participants were asked to imagine and then write about a potential future event in which they would be wronged or treated unfairly. After writing about a future victimizing event (control condition: future boring event), participants were expected to have heightened levels of entitlement. This heightened entitlement was hypothesized to lead to more selfish decision making, as tested by an assignment task in which participants were asked to assign themselves and another participant to one of two second tasks, one of which was clearly more desirable than the other. The goal of this research was to determine whether simply considering a future victimizing event would give individuals an inflated sense of entitlement, and whether these individuals would act on this feeling of entitlement by making more selfish assignments even though they had not yet actually experienced the victimizing event.
Degree: Bachelors of Science in Psychology

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