Keeping score: Past victimization reduces offenders’ conciliatory sentiments for their present transgressions

Michael Thai, Michael Wenzel, Blake Quinney, Lydia Woodyatt, Tyler G. Okimoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Many relationships within which interpersonal transgressions transpire often involve histories of reciprocal wrongdoing, where each party has occupied both the role of victim and offender. We investigate whether past incidents of being wronged by the victim of a present transgression may dampen offenders’ conciliatory sentiments for their present wrongdoing. Across four studies (combined N = 1037), we find evidence that past victimization experiences within the context of an interpersonal relationship can blur offenders’ construal of their role as offender and elicit feelings of victimhood, allowing them to exonerate themselves and feel less guilt for their present wrongdoing, display less empathy for the present victim, and reduce their willingness to reconcile with the present victim. These findings highlight the importance of taking into account historical transgressions within a relationship as a determinant of relationship repair in the aftermath of present wrongdoings.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Early online date24 May 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 May 2024

Keywords

  • interpersonal transgressions
  • offenders
  • past victimization
  • reconciliation
  • victimhood

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Keeping score: Past victimization reduces offenders’ conciliatory sentiments for their present transgressions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this