Deservingness, liking relations, schadenfreude, and other discrete emotions in the context of the outcomes of plagiarism

Norman Feather, Ian McKee

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    10 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This study investigated effects of like/dislike relations on schadenfreude and other discrete emotions in the context of plagiarism. The predicted emotions were derived from a structural analysis of how the appraisal of deservingness affects emotional reactions to positive or negative outcomes for self or other. One hundred forty-six undergraduate participants responded to scenarios in which either hypothetical self or other (a classmate) plagiarised information from the internet for a class assignment and either received a high grade (undeserved outcome) or a penalty (deserved outcome). Hypothetical self was represented as either high or low in self-esteem, other as liked or disliked. As predicted, liking relations moderated perceived deservingness. Schadenfreude (or pleasure) occurred when the disliked classmate received a deserved penalty for detected plagiarism but not when he/she suffered an undeserved positive outcome. This difference was reversed for the emotion of disappointment. Effects on other discrete emotions such as guilt and resentment are also reported.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)18-27
    Number of pages10
    JournalAustralian Journal of Psychology
    Volume66
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014

    Keywords

    • Deservingness
    • Disappointment
    • Plagiarism
    • Schadenfreude
    • Self-conscious emotions

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