Brutality Under Cover of Ambiguity

  title={Brutality Under Cover of Ambiguity},
  author={Katrina M. Fincher and Philip E. Tetlock},
  journal={Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin},
  pages={629 - 642}
Five studies tested four hypotheses on the drivers of punitive judgments. Study 1 showed that people imposed covertly retributivist physical punishments on extreme norm violators when they could plausibly deny that is what they were doing (attributional ambiguity). Studies 2 and 3 showed that covert retributivism could be suppressed by subtle accountability manipulations that cue people to the possibility that they might be under scrutiny. Studies 4 and 5 showed how covert retributivism can… 

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