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Perceived Legitimacy of Collective Punishment as a Function of Democratic versus Non-Democratic Group Structure

[journal article]

Falomir-Pichastor, Juan M.; Staerklé, Christian; Depuiset, Marie-Aude; Butera, Fabrizio

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Abstract The present research tested the hypothesis that the political structure of groups moderates the perceived legitimacy of collective punishment. Participants read scenarios of fictitious summer camps in which unidentified members of one group aggressed members of another group. The political structure of both the offender and the victim groups was described as either egalitarian or hierarchical (defined with democratic or non-democratic decision-making procedures). Perceived legitimacy of collective punishment directed against all members of the offender group was assessed by measuring the acceptability of sanctions administered by an authority and of revenge actions inflicted by members of the victim group. Results showed that collective punishment was evaluated as less legitimate when the offender group was egalitarian and the victim group was hierarchical. Supplementary analyses showed that this effect was mediated by the higher value attributed to members of the offender egalitarian group when the victim group was hierarchical.
Free Keywords aggression legitimacy; collective punishment; decision-making procedures; democracy; group value;
Document language English
Publication Year 2007
Page/Pages p. 565-579
Journal Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 10 (2007) 4
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1368430207081543
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)