Who says we are bad people? The impact of criticism source and attributional content on responses to group-based criticism.
Morton, Thomas A.
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
We investigated the interplay between the source of criticism and the attributional content of their message on behavioral responses to group-based criticism. Studies 1 and 2 revealed that outgroup critics were more effective when their criticism included internal attributions (to the ingroup's character) rather than external attributions (the ingroup's circumstances), whereas there was no effect of attributional content for ingroup critics (a significant Source x Content interaction). Study 3 explored the role of audiences in responses to outgroup criticism. The results indicated that the positive effects of internal versus external attributions were only evident when an outgroup audience was witness to participants' responses. Furthermore, these effects were mediated through concerns about the ingroup's image. Together, these patterns suggest that responses to criticism depend not just on the identity of the critic but also on what the critic says and who is watching. People may be surprisingly responsive to outgroup criticism-particularly when inaction might lead others to perceive them as "bad people."
addresses: University of Exeter, UK. firstname.lastname@example.org
types: Journal Article; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Copyright © 2010 SAGE Publications. Author's draft version; post-print. Final version published by Sage available on Sage Journals Online http://online.sagepub.com/
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 2010, Vol. 36, Issue 4, pp. 524 - 536
Place of publication