Underestimating Our Influence Over Others’ Unethical Behavior and Decisions

  title={Underestimating Our Influence Over Others’ Unethical Behavior and Decisions},
  author={Vanessa K. Bohns and M. Mahdi Roghanizad and Amy Z. Xu},
  journal={Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin},
  pages={348 - 362}
We examined the psychology of “instigators,” people who surround an unethical act and influence the wrongdoer (the “actor”) without directly committing the act themselves. In four studies, we found that instigators of unethical acts underestimated their influence over actors. In Studies 1 and 2, university students enlisted other students to commit a “white lie” (Study 1) or commit a small act of vandalism (Study 2) after making predictions about how easy it would be to get their fellow… 

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